Seized SAF vehicles: China makes its unhappiness known

A member of security gestures near tarpaulin-covered armoured vehicles belonging to the Singapore military at a customs and excise facility in Hong Kong, on Nov 25, 2016.
A member of security gestures near tarpaulin-covered armoured vehicles belonging to the Singapore military at a customs and excise facility in Hong Kong, on Nov 25, 2016.PHOTO: AFP

China has voiced its unhappiness to Singapore over nine Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) vehicles seized in Hong Kong while being shipped back to Singapore from a training exercise in Taiwan.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said yesterday the Chinese government firmly opposes countries that have diplomatic ties with it to have any form of official exchanges with Taiwan. China views Taiwan as a renegade province.

The SAF has conducted training exercises in Taiwan since the 1970s. Its personnel also train in countries such as Australia.

In a commentary yesterday, the English-language Global Times accused Singapore of hypocrisy and said the latest incident "adds to the suspicion" that it is working against the "one-China" principle.

The tabloid, which has a nationalistic bent, also warned that if bilateral ties were affected, this could "profoundly impact Singapore's economy".

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 29, 2016, with the headline 'Seized SAF vehicles: China makes its unhappiness known'. Print Edition | Subscribe