04 December 2016
Singapore-China relations appear to have taken a turn for the worse.
The recent seizure of nine Singapore Armed Forces armoured vehicles in Hong Kong is the latest in a series of incidents that have made many wonder what is happening between the two countries.
Why is it that what appeared to have been acceptable in the past is now viewed by one party in a different light?
In the case of the SAF carriers, they were in transit in Hong Kong en route to Singapore after their deployment in Taiwan where SAF troops hold regular exercises.
Singapore’s military arrangement with Taiwan has been a longstanding practice, started in 1975 when it was building its armed forces from scratch and needed space not available in its own country for training purposes.
Chinese leaders might not have liked the arrangement but they did not make a public issue of it.
Indeed, it did not stop the two countries from establishing diplomatic relations in 1990.
… The writer is also a senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies.
RSIS / Online / Print
Last updated on 06/12/2016