China Foreign Affairs Minister Geng Shuang has reportedly confirmed today (28 Nov) that Beijing has given instruction to return the Terrex AFVs seized in Hong Kong back to Singapore.
At the press conference, Geng also warned Singapore to respect the “rule of law” and custom procedures in Hong Kong, and also more importantly the “One China” policy – suggesting that Singapore should stop all military ties with Taiwan.
We call on Singapore to act in accordance with the laws of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region in handling the matter.
We oppose any nations that have diplomatic ties with China to have contacts with Taiwan, including military relations.
On the same day, China state media, The Global Times, accused Singapore of being a hypocrite by maintaining military relationships with Taiwan and the United States, and in calling on China to give up it’s claim on the South China Sea.
Singapore was never a military ally of the US, but has given the green light to US military forces’ long-term presence at its Changi Naval Base as well as allowing US Navy Boeing P-8A Poseidon aircraft to operate out of its airbases. This has turned Singapore into a platform for Washington to contain and deter Beijing. Singapore claimed it was not picking sides in the South China Sea disputes, but its remarks about the issue are far from neutral; instead, it has actually complicated and expanded the scale of the case.
It should be expected that a small country like Singapore has its own tactics of survival in games of major powers. The country, which used to know its boundaries, is losing its balance now. Its measures to contain China are becoming obvious. The military equipment seized by Hong Kong authorities this time further adds to the suspicion that Singapore might be working against the “one China” principle.
The state media also accuses Singapore of aiding United States to “contain” China by allowing US forces to be stationed in its Changi Naval Base and that having military training exercises with Taiwan goes against the “One China” policy.