24 October 2016
The tiny island-state of Singapore has found itself in China’s crosshairs of late. Reporting on a recently concluded Non-Aligned Movement summit in Venezuela, the Global Times, a newspaper associated with the Chinese Communist Party, accused Singapore of lobbying to include mention in a summit communique of an international tribunal’s July 12 ruling that rejected the legality of China’s claims in the South China Sea.
The party mouthpiece repeated this position despite efforts by the Singapore ambassador to Beijing to clarify what actually transpired at the summit. In a pointed and patronizing response, the Global Times editor replied: “You should encourage your country to reflect on its actions.” This episode was followed soon after by comments from a general in China’s People’s Liberation Army, Jin Yinan, who suggested that Singapore should “pay the price for damaging China’s interests.”
Tension has even spilt over into the private sector, where Chinese companies are pressuring their partners in Singapore to discourage their government from interfering in the South China Sea dispute.
… Joseph Chinyong Liow is dean and professor of Comparative and International Politics at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, in Singapore.
RSIS / Online
Last updated on 25/10/2016