9 military assault vehicles from the Singapore Armed Force (SAF) were seized by China in Hongkong for transiting without a valid permit.

Held in 12 containers, the shipping vessel docked at the Hongkong port and was ordered to be checked by Hongkong authorities for controlled items like firearms and ammunition, medicine or radioactive substances. According to the Hongkong Customs, suspected controlled items were found during the search. It is understood the Terrex ICV assault vehicle itself is technically considered a firearm because it can withstand 7.62mm calibre fires from general purpose machine guns (GPMGs).

The Singapore Armed Force (SAF) claimed ownership to the 9 Terrex ICV armoured vehicles that were seized in Hongkong saying that the military vehicles were previously used for a military training exercise in Kao Hsiung Taiwan. If convicted for transporting controlled equipment without a valid permit, the SAF faces a HK$500,000 fine and 2 years’ jail.

It is understood that this is the first time in 41 years Singapore military equipment were seized in Hongkong since Singapore and Taiwan started military training together in 1975.

The move is one of China’s latest passive-aggressive moves against Singapore because Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong recently took several offensive stances against China. In August, Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong told China to respect the “rule of law” and give up their claims on the South China Sea. China rebuked at the son of Lee Kuan Yew, telling him not to interfere when Singapore is not even a claimant country of the South China Sea. China-Singapore ties took a tumble later last week during the APEC meeting in Peru, where PM Lee Hsien Loong said China is not the middle kingdom and should stop acting like one.