Speaking at a press conference today (Nov 28), China Foreign Affairs Minister Geng Shuang confirmed that Beijing has given instruction to return the armoured vehicles in Hong Kong back to Singapore. However, he warned Singapore to respect the “rule of law” and custom procedures in Hong Kong, and also more importantly the “One China” policy – suggesting that Singapore should stop all military ties with Taiwan. The warning is also a calling to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to stop his rhetoric on the South China Sea.
Also published in China state media, The Global Times, today (Nov 28), China said that Singapore is being a hypocrite by maintaining military with Taiwan and United States, and calling on China to give up it’s claim on the South China Sea.
The state media wrote that Singapore is aiding United States to “contain” China by allowing US forces to be stationed in its Changi Naval Base and that having military training exercises with Taiwan goes against the “One China” policy.
Since the 1970s, Singapore has been conducting military training with Taiwan under a joint military exercise, StarLight, established by former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew and the then-Taiwan President Chiang Ching Guo. Despite so, Singapore enjoy lucrative investments and free trade agreements with China. For the past 4 decades, China overlooked the military training accepting Lee Kuan Yew’s explanation that Singapore has no land to conduct military training to protect itself in South East Asia. The reasoning however ceased effect until the increasing stability of South East Asia and more notably until the Lee Kuan Yew’s death and Lee Hsien Loong’s provocation of China.
The Global Times is published by the official party newspaper, The People’s Daily, and plays a major propaganda mouthpiece for China the same way a The Straits Times does for Singapore.
Earlier in September, the China state media publicly quarreled with the Singapore ambassador based in China, Stanley Loh, over Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s comments on the South China Sea. Singapore was repeatedly warned to not interfere with the territorial dispute between China and the other Asian countries like Vietnam, Philippines and Malaysia, but Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong continued to provoke China despite having no claim over the South China Sea.