Islands in the western Pacific Ocean, ruled since 1978 by the Beluu er a Belau

Reference

Palau - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Palau, officially the Republic of Palau (Palauan: Beluu ęr a Belau), is an island nation in the Pacific Ocean, 800 km east of the Philippines and 3,200 km south of Tokyo. In 1978, after three decades as being part of the United Nations trusteeship, Palau chose independence instead of becoming part of the Federated States of Micronesia; a Compact of Free Association was approved in 1986 but not ratified until 1993. It was put into force the following year, making it one of the world's youngest and smallest sovereign states. In English, the name is sometimes spelled Belau in accordance with the native pronunciation. It was formerly also spelled Pelew. ..."

Measures of Freedom

Palau | Freedom House, Freedom in the World 2016: Anxious Dictators, Wavering Democracies: Global Freedom under Pressure
2016: Status: Free, Aggregate Score: 92, Political Rights: 1, Civil Liberties: 1
"The economy of Palau depends heavily on tourism, foreign assistance, and remittances from workers overseas. Growing tourism from China in particular has created jobs but also raised the cost of living, and some locals regard the presence of Chinese businesses and foreign residents with hostility. The government has sought to license a tourist casino to bring in additional revenue, but the Senate rejected legislation to that end in January 2015."