Photo of Ng Eng Hen from Straits Times Mark Cheong

Posting on his Facebook page, Singapore Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen deepened his rhetoric against China after his diplomatic fiasco claiming Taiwan as a country a month ago. This time, Minister Ng Eng Hen proclaimed that Singapore is not threatened by the detention of its 9 Terrex vehicles by China.

“The Terrex issue does not pose an existential threat or even a potential threat as say, terrorism does today. And the SAF must not lose focus or allow that one issue to dominate all else. Neither should Singaporeans allow this one incident to shake our confidence or weaken our solidarity. We are a sovereign and independent country, and we will chart our own future.”

Minister Ng Eng Hen deliberately left out his assurance to the One-China policy as requested by China, and instead quoted US-led defence pacts like FPDA and ADMM-Plus in his post. The recent increased military cooperation with US ally, Australia, was also mentioned, which is likely a provocation to China from the Singapore minister.

The Defence Minister however admitted his failure to negotiate with China over the past two months and said that the Singapore army will “learn from this episode”:

“The SAF will learn from this episode and has already changed its practices to better protect our assets. But all of us are of course upset that the Terrexes, our property, have not been returned to Singapore. We have been working at all levels of Government these past two months to effect their return, quietly and out of the limelight where it is more effective.

You may view his original post here.