25 November 2016
Beijing on Friday warned countries against maintaining military ties with Taiwan, after Singaporean armoured troop carriers were seized en route from the island that Beijing regards as a breakaway province.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said that Beijing was verifying reports that Hong Kong customs had seized nine Singapore troop carriers and other equipment in 12 containers being shipped from Taiwan after military exercises.
Singapore’s defence ministry said on Thursday it was trying to free the carriers “expeditiously”, while Hong Kong customs said on Friday that its officers were still investigating the shipment.
Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs referred questions to the defence ministry. The defence ministry did not comment beyond its official statement.
… Bernard Loo, a security expert at Singapore’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, said that while some kind of administrative mistake may have sparked the detention, he suspected that Chinese officials would be keen to use the case to send another signal of concern to Singapore.
“In the current climate between Singapore and China, this one is a real opportunity for Beijing to pressure Singapore a bit more,” he said.
GPO / IDSS / Online
Last updated on 28/11/2016