29 November 2016
Singapore has found itself caught in China’s crosshairs after its shipment of nine armored troop carriers was impounded last week in Hong Kong. The dispute has taken on a political tone with Chinese state media even suggesting the vehicles, which were used in a routine drill in Taiwan, should be melted down.
Although nationalistic sentiments in China are growing, analysts expect the incident to have a limited impact regionally after officials of both sides have engaged in diplomatic negotiations.
… “It’s just one more way, I think, the Chinese see this as an opportunity to maybe drive away between the Singaporeans and the Taiwanese. And that’s probably not going to happen,” said Richard Bitzinger, a senior fellow at S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies under Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.
Bitzinger expects Singapore to stay quiet with its future military cooperation with Taiwan and learn its lessons in shipping future weaponry systems directly back to Singapore without making any stopover in future occasions.
And the only gain for China, he added, is to play up this incident to a domestic audience, sending a patriotic message to its people that the government will stand firm on its nationalistic stance.
IDSS / Online
Last updated on 30/11/2016