In address to China diplomat Ruan Zong Ze’s remark on Singapore’s double-headed approach on the South China Sea issue, Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan claims that the PAP dictatorship is “consistent, honest and reliable” and calls the government “a honest broke”:
“In its dealings with other nations, Singapore has always stuck to the principle of being consistent, honest and reliable. Singapore has been and will be consistent in its relations with China and the US. Singapore’s style is to be consistent and honest and reliable. So I say the same things. And if saying the same things sometimes gets me into a slightly warmer soup with either China or the US, so be it. We’re prepared to take short-term penalties in order to maintain our long-term position as honest brokers who say the same thing and can be relied on.”
Last Saturday (May 13), China criticised Singapore for cajoling ASEAN countries to stand a stand against China over the South China Seas’ territories dispute. Earlier last year, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong told China to respect the Hague Tribunal’s ruling and give up their claims on the South China Seas. China responded by detaining Singapore’s Terrex vehicles when they passed by Hong Kong, a China state. The Singapore Armed Force’s vehicles were returned some two months later in January this year.
Also in the China diplomat’s criticism is Singapore’s assistance in US military operations. The Singapore government has been allowing United States to deploy aircrafts and ships from Changi Naval Base to patrol the South China Sea, monitoring China vessels and movements in the South China Sea.
Singapore diplomat at the forum, ambassador-at-large Tommy Koh, did not deny the allegations and instead harp on the “long-standing” relations between China and Singapore.
Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan yesterday (May 14) followed up on the China’s criticism and openly lied that Singapore has “always” been an arbitrator when there is an international dispute:
“Singapore is often called upon to be a facilitator at international forums, when there is a deadlock between two sides. This is because Singapore is not only not big enough to threaten anyone, but is also trusted, reliable, honest, good links with everyone.”
Minister Vivian Balakrishnan also boasted that Singapore do not bow down to pressure:
“That Singapore is willing to withstand pressure from big dragons and eagles will send an important signal to its neighbours that it will resolutely stand by its principles and interests while not poking people in the eye.”