Photo of Lee Hsien Loong from CNA

Singapore diplomats deployed to Hong Kong on Friday (Nov 25) failed to retrieve the armoured vehicles that were confiscated for transiting at the Hong Kong port without a permit. The team from Singapore Armed Force (SAF) apparently was told to wait without any response from the Hong Kong authorities even though the Hong Kong customs officers have completed their search on the armoured vehicles. Hong Kong authorities is also refusing to reveal the result of their search and whether if there has been any custom law infringement.

According to independent media reports based in Hong Kong, the Hong Kong administration have no power to decide whether to return the confiscated vehicles. Singapore diplomats will have to contact Beijing directly and primarily explain why is Singapore still continuing to conduct joint-military exercises with Taiwan despite having diplomatic relations with China. Politically, China is expecting an apology from Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s recent moves to provoke China and their sovereignty.

The move to detain the SAF vehicles is a response from China on Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s loud-mouthed comments on the South China Sea, telling the superpower to obey the “rule of law”. While, some individuals expressed anger at the news, most Singaporeans responded with cheers on the China’s action to fix the dictator Prime Minister, with many pointing to his recent diplomatic gaffes.

In addition to his “rule of law” comment, PM Lee Hsien Loong continued to repeatedly step on China’s toes by staunchly pushing for the Trans-Pacific Pact (TPP) that excludes China, and even said that there is no such thing as the “middle kingdom” and China should not behave like one.