Saturday, 3 December 2016

Singapore military vehicles seizure in Hong Kong

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Update 24 Jan 2017: Hong Kong to return 9 SAF Terrex vehicles to Singapore

Authorities in Hong Kong will soon release nine Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) armored vehicles that they had impounded and detained since November, the city-state said on Tuesday.

In a statement, Singapore's foreign affairs ministry said Hong Kong authorities would release the SAF Terrex Infantry Carrier Vehicles and other equipment to the city-state, ending two months of the saga that soured Singapore-China relations.


The statement said the notification came in a reply by Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying to a letter from Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

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PM Lee wrote to HK Chief Executive on Terrex issue: Ng Eng Hen

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has written to Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying on the issue of Singapore’s seized military vehicles, said Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen.

Speaking in Parliament on Monday (9 January), Ng noted that Leung had responded by saying that the investigation into the matter is ongoing and will be handled in accordance with Hong Kong law.

“Singapore welcomes this response. Adherence to the rule of law has been the fundamental basis for peace and stability in the last half century in Asia,” said Ng.

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Beijing urges ‘caution’ in handling of Singapore’s seized military vehicles

Beijing has called on Singapore to be cautious in its handling of the seizure of nine of its military vehicles in Hong Kong.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said on Monday that the Hong Kong government was handling the incident in accordance with the law, after Singapore Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said the detention of the vehicles did not comply with international law.

“I hope the relevant parties can be cautious in their remarks and actions,” Lu said. “I want to stress that China hopes other nations, including Singapore, follow the one-China principle. This is the foundation for bilateral ties between China and any other nation. I hope the relevant parties can follow the laws of Hong Kong, China.”

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China urges caution with words, actions on Terrex issue

China on Monday (Jan 9) called for caution with words & actions, after Singapore's Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen told Parliament that Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) armoured troop carriers held in Hong Kong are protected by sovereign immunity, & cannot be legally detained.

The 9 SAF Terrex vehicles have been stuck in a Hong Kong port for nearly 2 months, amid queries over licences and declarations by the commercial shipping firm that had been transporting it from Taiwan to Singapore after a military exercise.

"It is hoped that all relevant countries, including Singapore, can earnestly respect the one-China policy, which is the fundamental prerequisite for China to develop ties with other countries," Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Lu Kang said in response to a reporter's question during a regular briefing.

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China calls on Singapore to be cautious in handling of detained Terrexes

China has called on Singapore to be cautious in its handling of the detention of the 9 Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Terrex infantry carriers in Hong Kong, adding that the incident was being handled in accordance with the law, the South China Morning Post reported on Mon (Jan 9).

"I hope the relevant parties can be cautious in their remarks & actions," foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said at a ministry briefing.

"I want to stress that China hopes other nations, including Singapore, follow the 'one China' principle," he was quoted saying. "This is the foundation for bilateral ties between China & any other nation. I hope the relevant parties can follow the laws of Hong Kong, China," he added.

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China issues swift rebuttal to Singapore Government that detention of Terrex is legal

The Chinese Foreign Ministry has asked the Singapore government to be cautious in how it handles the seizures of the nine Terrex infantry carrier vehicles by the Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department. It emphasised that the impounding were in accordance to the law.

South China Morning Post which reported the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s briefing (which came after Singapore’s Defence Minister address in Parliament), quoted a spokesman as saying, “I hope the relevant parties can be cautious in their remarks and actions.”

The spokesman Lu Kang added: “I want to stress that China hopes other nations, including Singapore, follow the one-China principle. This is the foundation for bilateral ties between China and any other nation. I hope the relevant parties can follow the laws of Hong Kong, China.”

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Singapore PM Lee presses for immediate return of Terrex vehicles; HK asks for more time

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has asked Hong Kong to immediately return the Terrex armoured vehicles seized in November while they were shipped back from Taiwan. Singapore Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen confirmed this and said Hong Kong authorities responded saying that the investigation is ongoing and will take some time to complete.

The nine Terrex Infantry Carrier Vehicles belong to the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF). Ng said the prime minister wrote to Hong Kong Chief Executive CY Leung to return the military vehicles and uphold Singapore's sovereign rights over its assets.

"The Hong Kong authorities have responded that the investigation is ongoing and will take some time to complete, and that the Hong Kong government will handle the matter in accordance with their laws," Ng added, according to the Channel News Asia.

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The terrifying lessons from the PAP’s handling of the confiscated Terrex

When Minister Ng revealed on his Facebook account that he would have some announcement in Parliament on the 2 month long Terrex saga, I looked forward to some progress or at least a constructive update. Instead, the whole country was treated a comedy stand up routine by him in Parliament. One does not know whether to cry or laugh at his statement, and the fact that he actually thinks that the public will buy it and that his statement passes for even a modicum of muster.

Lesson # 1 - The PAP has no clue. No clue whatsoever. The concept of international diplomacy is apparent foreign to them. Minister Ng is still vigorously working the legal angle when the whole world can see that it’s a political matter. The naivete of the PAP is astounding. He states that the Govt. was advised by its lawyers that the seizure was illegal and violated even Hong Kong’s law. Does he seriously expect any lawyers employed by the Govt. to say anything else? Hiring your own lawyer to tell you that you are right and that Hong Kong is wrong is akin to masturbation.

Now, if Minister Ng has a legal opinion from a world court like the international court of justice in The Hague, or from leading legal eagles in Hong Kong and China, then that would be different. But he does not have said endorsements nor was he able to get them. In fact, in the 2 months since the seizures, no independent 3rd party legal entity has denounced the seizures as illegal. That tells what the Govt’s lawyers’ opinions are worth. You will notice in Minister Ng’s speech that there is no contingency plan at all. There is mention of the legal aspect and there is mention of the Hong Kong authorities doing their investigations. But what if it goes against Singapore? What is Ng’s back up plan in case Hong Kong does not return them? It seems they are so clueless they have no idea how to proceed if the answer is no.

related: Terrex the Jialat Ministers

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Disappointment at Singapore’s handling of the Terrex saga

As I watched this video of Minister Ng Eng Hen in parliament on 9 Jan 2017, I cannot help feeling disappointed at how our government handles the detention of our 9 Terrex vehicles and other equipment.

All it knows is throwing the law at Hong Kong and assuring itself that it had received legal advice that the equipment are “protected by sovereign immunity even though they are being shipped by commercial carriers.”

If it is so confident that the advice given by its legal advisers is right, then why involve the prime minister in writing a letter to the Chief Executive Leung Chun-Ying to “reiterate the same message”? Why bother to get our Consul General in Hong Kong to press the issue? Why not just sue instead of engaging in half-hearted diplomacy?

related:
Ng Eng Hen: Detention of Terrex ICVs against international law
HK customs: Missing Singapore Terrex vehicles moved indoors

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BEIJING WARNS LION CITY ABOUT ‘REMARKS’ OVER ARMY VEHICLES HELD IN HONG KONG

Beijing on Monday warned Singapore to be careful about its “remarks and actions” as the island nation said it had written to Hong Kong’s leader asking for the return of a batch of armoured personnel carriers “taken hostage” en route from Taiwan.

Responding to media inquiries, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying’s office said Hong Kong customs was the authority tasked with investigating the matter.

It also confirmed receipt of the letter from Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

related:
WHY S'PORE CAN’T AFFORD TO BE PUSHED AROUND BY CHINA
How Spore’s military vehicles became Beijing’s diplomatic weapon
Beijing urges ‘caution’ in handling of Singapore’s seized military vehicles

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3 unambiguous takeaways from Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen’s parliament speech on the Terrex issue

Minister for Defence Ng Eng Hen’s reply in Parliament on Monday has stated unambiguously Singapore government’s position on the recovery of the nine Terrex Infantry Carrier Vehicles (ICVs) detained in Hong Kong.

His widely reported remarks and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s letter to Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying are the latest signs that our government is stepping up efforts to resolve the issue.

For Singaporeans who are following the developments closely, we offer three takeaways from Ng’s speech:
  • MINDEF has to up its game at political risk assessment
  • The implications resulting from the application of international law
  • Hong Kong’s free-port reputation is at stake
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SAF Terrexes: It’s about who’s running Taiwan

WHEN you think about the SAF Terrex issue, what comes to mind? Perhaps, these points:
  • China must be really angry with Singapore to instruct Hong Kong to seize the vehicles. In other words, nobody believes that this is a Hong Kong administrative measure, no matter how the politicians spin it.
  • China doesn’t like Singapore training in Taiwan, which it regards as a renegade province, but then again, we’ve been doing so since 1974… So what gives?
  • China bullies or bribes whatever countries it can and we happened to be on the bullying end.
A fourth point that has been ignored but should be part of the discussion is this: The annual Singapore- China Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC) meeting did not take place last year. Why?

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Is China cocking a snook at the joker PM Lee Hsien Loong?

The Parliamentary debate on 9 January on the seizure of the nine Terrex Infantry Carriers looked more like a colourful comic opera which the Singapore public has not had the privilege of witnessing for a long time.The star performer Defence Minister Dr. Ng Eng Hen was so ebullient in his bombastic discourse about Singapore Government's sovereign immunity that it might have convinced gullible Singaporeans about its legal validity but not an unsympathetic China.

The Parliamentary spectacle was more likely intended to show the world the more iniquitous face of China in the so-called arbitrary seizure of the Terrex Infantry Carriers by Hong Kong Customs but has it ever occurred to the PAP wallahs that even the Singapore citizenry has remained reticent over the issue, not to mention support.

Quite significantly, the Chinese Foreign Ministry's spokesman has again re-iterated the One China principle which Singapore could meditate on seriously notwithstanding its vigorous profession of strict adherence to the One China principle. It has been repeatedly pointed out that the Terrex issue is going to be a complex problem requiring an infinite time frame to resolve. It is not something which a surly letter from the high-falutin PM Lee Hsien Loong to the Chief Executive of Hong Kong to demand the return of the seized armoured vehicles could resolve. The reply from Hong Kong is not very encouraging.

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The Bully and the Big Mouths

Last November, nine Singapore Armed Forces Terrex Infantry Carrier Vehicles, shipped from Taiwan via Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, were detained by Hong Kong Customs. The Terrexes have been used by our Armed Forces during training in Taiwan.

Singapore has stated that these vehicles are protected by international law.

True, the seized Terrexes may be protected by international law but it takes a lot more to deal with countries who show scant regard for the law and play by their own rules.

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China Warns 'Small and Medium Size' Countries Not To Side with Big Countries: White Paper
Chinese naval aircraft carriers

A white paper released today by China on Asia-Pacific security cooperation has warned ‘small and medium size countries’ not to take sides in disputes between big countries, without naming the countries in question. The white paper, "China's Policies on Asia-Pacific Security Cooperation" was released by the State Council Information Office Wednesday on policies related to Asia-Pacific security cooperation, which also clarified the nation's stance on issues of regional concern.

"Small- and medium-sized countries need not and should not take sides among big countries," according to the white paper, Sina reported Wednesday. All countries should work toward a new dialogue system instead of confrontation, and pursue partnerships rather than alliances, according to the white paper. Outlining China's concept of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, the white paper explained the Chinese approach to achieving peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region.

The policy package includes the promotion of common development; the building of partnerships; improvement of existing multilateral frameworks; rule-setting; military exchanges; and proper settlement of differences.

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China issues white paper, warns small- and medium-sized countries not to take sides

China on Wednesday (Jan 11) issued its first white paper on issues related to Asia-Pacific security cooperation.

In the six-point proposal, reproduced in full by Xinhua, Beijing stated that "small- and medium-sized countries need not and should not take sides among big countries".

"All countries should make joint efforts to pursue a new path of dialogue instead of confrontation and pursue partnerships rather than alliances, and build an Asia-Pacific partnership featuring mutual trust, inclusiveness and mutually beneficial cooperation," the white paper read.

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China links seized vehicles to Singapore's ties with Taiwan

A spat between China and Singapore about nine armoured personnel carriers impounded in Hong Kong has intensified after Beijing suggested their release requires the island state to abandon its low-key relations with Taiwan.

The escalation comes at a key moment in Asian alliance politics, with China seeking to isolate Taiwan further by putting pressure on nations such as Singapore, with which it has friendly relations.

“China-Singapore relations have hit rock bottom,” said Shi Yinhong, an authority on China’s foreign relations at Beijing’s Renmin University. Mr Shi linked the dispute to Singapore’s trade and defence relations with Taiwan, which China regards as a renegade province, and its position on Chinese claims in the South China Sea.

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MILITARY VEHICLES SEIZURE TO BE SORTED UNDER HONG KONG LAW, SINGAPORE TOLD AFTER PM LEE’S LETTER TO CY LEUNG

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has written an official note to Hong Kong’s leader Leung Chun-ying asking for the return of the country’s armoured personnel carriers “taken hostage” in Hong Kong en route from Taiwan, and has been informed that the matter will be sorted in accordance with Hong Kong laws.

Singapore Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen on Monday said Hong Kong’s seizure of a shipment of its armoured personnel carriers was against international law. “The legal position is that the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Terrexes and other equipment detained in Hong Kong are the property of the Singapore government. They are protected by sovereign immunity, even though they were being shipped by commercial carriers,” Ng told lawmakers in parliament.

“This means that they are immune from any measures of constraint abroad. They cannot legally be detained or confiscated by other countries. This principle is well-established under international law, and we are advised by lawyers that it is also the law in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Accordingly, the Singapore government has asserted our sovereign rights over the SAF Terrexes.”

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Singaporean defence minister says Hong Kong’s seizure of its military vehicles violates international law

Singapore’s defence minister Ng Eng Hen has said that the seizure of nine of its military vehicles in Hong Kong does not comply with international or Hong Kong law.

The shipment of Terrex Infantry Carrier Vehicles, and other Singaporean military hardware, has been held in Hong Kong since November 23 last year. Ng was responding to questions raised by multiple Singaporean lawmakers at the first session of the city’s parliament this year.

“The legal position is that the SAF [Singapore Armed Forces] Terrexes and other equipment detained in Hong Kong are the property of the Singapore Government,” he said on Monday. “They are protected by sovereign immunity, even though they were being shipped by commercial carriers. This means that they are immune from any measures of constraint abroad. They cannot legally be detained or confiscated by other countries.”

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Singapore Demands Hong Kong Return Seized Military Vehicles

Singaporean Defense Minister Ng En Hen called on Hong Kong to return nine armored personnel carriers seized by customs officials late last year, saying the equipment was sovereign property and could not legally be held.

Ng told parliament that Singapore had shipped troop carriers commercially for 30 years without incident, and that Singapore and Hong Kong had long enjoyed good and friendly relations.

“The Hong Kong authorities have responded that the investigation is ongoing and will take some time to complete,” Ng said. “Adherence to the rule of law has been the fundamental basis for peace and stability in the last half century in Asia.”

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Singapore has not raised Terrex issue with China: Vivian Balakrishnan

Singapore has not raised the issue of its confiscated armoured vehicles with China, said Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan.

“It is best that this matter be handled through the proper legal process, and there is no need to politicise it. There is no need to engage in megaphone diplomacy,” said Balakrishnan.

Speaking in Parliament on Monday (9 January), the minister was responding to Choa Chu Kang MP Zaqy Mohamad’s question on whether Singapore had opened a dialogue with Beijing on the issue.

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Singapore says Hong Kong has no legal right to hold its troop carriers, demands their immediate return

According to Ng, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has wrote to Hong Kong Chief Executive CY Leung asking for the immediate return of the military vehicles.

But at the same time, Singapore Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan told Parliament that Singapore has not actually spoken to China about the matter of the seized troop carriers -- which would seem to explain a lot.

“It is best that this matter be handled through the proper legal process, and there is no need to politicize it. There is no need to engage in megaphone diplomacy,” Balakrishnan said.

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Ng Eng Hen: Detention of Terrex ICVs against international law

Minister for Defence Ng Eng Hen told Parliament on Monday (9 January) that the detention of the nine Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Terrex Infantry Carrier Vehicles (ICV) in Hong Kong does not comply with international or Hong Kong law and that the country looks forward to them to be returned.

The Minister stated that the legal position is that the SAF Terrex and other equipment detained in Hong Kong are the property of the Singapore Government. Therefore, they are protected by sovereign immunity, even though they were being shipped by commercial carriers. This means that they are immune from any measures of constraint abroad. They cannot legally be detained or confiscated by other countries.

"This means that they are immune from any measures of constraint abroad. They cannot legally be detained or confiscated by other countries," he noted.

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Terrex vehicles seized by Hong Kong moved indoors
The SAF Terrex armoured vehicles that were detained in HK in November are still being held by the city's customs officials. FOTO: FACTWIRE NEWS AGENCY

The 9 Singapore armoured vehicles that have been detained in Hong Kong since November have been moved indoors, Hong Kong's Customs & Excise Department said on Tuesday (Jan 3), quashing speculation the vehicles may have been returned.

A report by the Apple Daily newspaper on Mon (Jan 2) said the vehicles, which it said had been kept at an outdoor storage yard of a Customs storage facility in Tuen Mun, had "vanished" from the site that morning.

But the Hong Kong Customs & Excise Department said in a statement issued to The Straits Times on Tuesday the vehicles "are still kept at a storage place of Customs in Tuen Mun".

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No, the seized Singaporean military vehicles didn't vanish — they were just stored indoors
The empty terminal, as of yesterday morning. Screenshot: Apple Daily

So yesterday various media publications in Hong Kong and Singapore put up astonishing headlines about how the nine armoured vehicles belonging to the Singapore Armed Forces seized by Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department had just... vanished.

Apple Daily reported that the shrouded Terrex Infantry Carrier Vehicles were no longer seen at their usual spot at the Tuen Mun River Trade Terminal yesterday morning. Security guards at the terminal refused to respond to media queries, raising suspicions even further.

"They have gone missing! The Singaporean government hasn't responded yet," the narrator on one of Apple Daily's classic animated news videos said.

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HK customs silent over seized Singapore military vehicles
The military vehicles were found in Kwai Tsing Container Terminals in Nov 2016. Apparently, they have been moved to an undisclosed location. Photos: Facebook/碼頭的辛酸

A fleet of nine armored personnel carriers belonging to the Singapore Armed Forces and seized by Hong Kong customs in November have been moved from a temporary warehouse to an undisclosed location, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

Customs authorities said they could not give the whereabouts of the nine Terrex AV-81 personnel carriers because the case is under investigation.

Singapore’s defense ministry also did not update the latest developments on its official website, spurring speculation the vehicles have been returned or moved to another location.

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Singapore’s Terrex vehicles no longer seen at HK customs warehouse

The nine Terrex Infantry Carrier Vehicles (ICV) that were impounded by the Hong Kong Customs & Excise Department are no longer seen at the open air warehouse, reports Hongkong media, Apple Daily.

Hong-Kong-based investigative journalism site, FactWire, had earlier reported on 23 November that nine armoured vehicles along with three containers were seized by Hong Kong authorities after it carried out an inspection sparked by a tip-off.

The vehicles, which had been shipped from Kao Hsiung in Taiwan, on route to Singapore, were placed on low beds and initially wrapped in various blue, grey covers.

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S’pore’s 9 Terrex vehicles ‘suddenly vanished’: Hong Kong media

According to Hong Kong media, the nine Terrex Infantry Carrier Vehicles that were impounded after being seized by China on Nov. 23, 2016, have “suddenly vanished”, Channel 8 news reported on Jan. 2, 2017.

An Apple Daily story had reported that the nine infantry carrier vehicles that were impounded for more than a month at the Hong Kong Customs and Excise facility in Tuen Mun vanished on Jan. 2.

Hong Kong customs told Apple Daily that as the case is still under investigation, there’s no further infomation to provide.

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Hong Kong newspaper reports that Singapore’s armoured vehicles are missing from warehouse
screengrab of video: Terrex ICV not in warehouse compound on 1 Jan

Apple Daily, a Hong Kong based newspaper reported that the nine armoured vehicles seized by the Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department in November last year is not seen in the warehouse in which it had been impounded.

The paper said that a reporter from the publication was able to see the Terrex Infantry Carrier Vehicles belonging to the Singapore Armed Forces covered with green canvas in the warehouse from 26 to 30 December, but that he did not see it this morning (2 Jan). Apple Daily said that the security guards on the ground refused to respond to their reporters’ queries.

The Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) has not delivered a statement on this latest development yet. MINDEF said on 26 Nov that the containers with the armoured vehicles which were opened for inspection have been resealed by Hong Kong customs and shifted to the depot at the River Trade Terminal, which is a secured access-controlled area.

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Terrex seizure: SAF will learn from incident, says Ng Eng Hen
Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said the S'pore Armed Forces will learn from last month's seizure of 9 armoured vehicles by the HK Authorities and has already changed its practices to better protect Spore's military assets. FOTO: ST FILE

The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) will learn from last month's seizure of 9 armoured vehicles by the Hong Kong Authorities and has already changed its practices to better protect Singapore's military assets, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said yesterday.

Meanwhile, all levels of the Government have been working hard over the past 2 months to get the Terrex vehicles returned to Singapore, "quietly & out of the limelight where it is more effective", he added in a Facebook post.

Dr Ng did not elaborate further, but said he would reveal more during the next Parliament sitting, which is scheduled for next month.

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Terrex issue a low point in 2016, but issue mustn't be allowed to dominate: Ng Eng Hen

The detention of Singapore's Terrex armoured vehicles by Hong Kong authorities was a low point in 2016 - but it does not pose an existential threat or even a potential threat as say, terrorism does today, said Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen on Fri (Dec 30).

As such, the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) must not lose focus or allow the one issue to dominate all else, wrote Dr Ng in a Facebook post.

"Neither should S'poreans allow this one incident to shake our confidence or weaken our solidarity," Dr Ng wrote. "We are a sovereign & independent country, & we will chart our own future."

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Singapore Govt has made known 'formal position' to Hong Kong counterpart

The Government has conveyed its "formal position" to its Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) counterpart on the detention of the Singapore Armed Forces' (SAF) armoured vehicles, the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) said on Fri (Dec 23).

Without elaborating, Mindef said in a press statement that the communication was done "over the past 3 weeks" and the Government is still waiting for the return of the nine Terrex Infantry Carrier Vehicles, which were seized by the Hong Kong customs exactly a month ago.

"Over the past 3 weeks, the Singapore Government has communicated its formal position to the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) on the detention of SAF Terrex Infantry Carrier Vehicles and associated equipment by the Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department. We await a full resolution of this matter and return of our property by the Hong Kong SAR Government," Mindef said.

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Singapore issues sixth call for Hong Kong to return nine military vehicles seized by customs
“We await a full resolution of this matter and return of our property by the Hong Kong SAR Government.”


Singapore has reiterated its call for the release of nine armoured military vehicles that have been held by Hong Kong customs for a month.

On Friday night the Lion City’s Ministry of Defence issued its sixth statement on the issue, saying the country was still waiting for a full explanation about the impounding of the armoured troop carriers.

“Over the past three weeks, the Singapore Government has communicated its formal position to the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region on the detention of SAF Terrex Infantry Carrier Vehicles and associated equipment by the Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department,” the statement read.


Singapore awaiting return of troop carriers held in Hong Kong
Six of the nine armoured troop carriers belonging to Singapore, from a shipment detained at a container terminal, are seen in Hong Kong, China November 24, 2016. REUTERS/Bobby Yip/File Photo

Singapore said on Friday it is still awaiting the return of nine troop carriers seized in Hong Kong last month, which led to tension with China over Singapore's relations with self-ruled Taiwan.

Hong Kong customs seized the Singapore military's armoured vehicles as they were being shipped from Taiwan to Singapore after military exercises on the island that Beijing regards as a breakaway province. Beijing then warned countries against maintaining military ties with Taiwan.

Singapore's defence ministry said in its latest update it had communicated its formal position on the seizure to Hong Kong authorities over the past three weeks.


China returns US navy’s drone while SAF’s armoured vehicles remain seized


A US Navy buoyancy glider similar to one seized by Chinese forces. Picture credit: US Navy Photo

The Chinese government has returned to the United States of America (US) an underwater drone which it seized in the South China Sea five days ago. A statement from the Chinese Ministry of Defence said, “After friendly consultations between China and the United States, the transfer of the US underwater drone was smoothly completed.”

Meanwhile, the Singapore Armed Forces’ Terrex Infantry Carrier Vehicles which were seized by the Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department remains detained in an enclosed area. The SAF previously said that they were not provided formal reasons about why the vehicles have been detained. The shipping company engaged by SAF to transport the vehicles from a military exercise in Taiwan to Singapore had 3 unsuccessful meetings with the Chinese authorities to try and secure the release of the vehicles.

The Chinese government lodged representations to Singapore reiterating its “One-China” policy after their customs seized the armoured vehicles.

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China portrayed as a big bully in appropriate cartoon about the detained military vehicles issue

Multiple ministers have sought to downplay the ongoing friction between Singapore and China regarding the seizure of nine military vehicles belonging to the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) in Hong Kong.

Various publications report that Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen called for caution in speculating why Hong Kong customs offloaded and detained the shipment of Terrex Infantry Carrier Vehicles while en route from Taiwan to Singapore.

Many have postulated that it's part of Beijing's ploy to browbeat Singapore in the several matters, including the city-state's position on the South China Sea dispute and the continuing military ties with Taiwan — a nation that the Chinese government regards as a breakaway province.

HK's seizure of SAF's military hardware could complicate S'pore & China
China warns countries allying Taiwan as they hold to SAF's military vehicles in HK

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The Terrex fallacies

3 common logical flaws can be identified from many of these commentaries. The 1st is fundamental attribution error. Hong Kong has yet to clarify the exact reasons and legal basis of its move.

The 2nd logical fallacy is an erroneous conflation of issues. For instance, Dr William Choong highlighted the other recent hiccups in the Sino-Singapore relationship, such as Singapore's recent fiasco with China's Global Times and the Enhanced Defence Cooperation Agreement established with the United States in December last year.

Last but not least, analogies have been misused. In assuming China's involvement in the Terrex seizure, some analysts have recalled the 1994 Michael Fay caning incident and warned that Singapore should not succumb to pressure from China or any other bigger country.


Making sense of the Terrex incident

Nevertheless, it may be counter-intuitive to see the impounding of the SAF’s ICVs as business (or politics) as usual. Instead, it is likely that 2 separate political developments are part of this incident.

1st, this incident occurred in the midst of a dip in China-Singapore relations, which started after the July 12, 2016 ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration on the South China Sea and Singapore’s subsequent response — which the Chinese interpreted as an anti-China stance. The relationship further deteriorated after Singapore’s Ambassador to Beijing, Mr Stanley Loh, issued an open letter to the editors of China’s Global Times newspaper on Sept 26, rebutting its report of the Non-Aligned Movement Summit earlier that month, which alleged that the Singapore delegation raised the issues of the South China Sea and the Permanent Court of Arbitration’s ruling. Since then, a series of angry exchanges between the two countries, involving both public officials and private netizens, has ensued.

2nd, the election of Tsai Ing-wen as President of Taiwan clearly rankled Chinese sensibilities, judging by the number of times her Facebook account was spammed, ostensibly by Chinese netizens.


Singapore may prove a tough nut for China to crack over regional security

As the impounding of Singaporean troop carriers in Hong Kong exposes rising tensions between China and Singapore, the Lion City is unlikely to budge on core security interests concerning Beijing – its military relationship with Taiwan, worries over the South China Sea and its hosting of the U.S. military.

Singaporean officials, retired military officers and analysts stress that even while Singapore publicly plays down the spat, its leadership will not easily give in to what it sees as intimidation on matters of national importance.

All three points – Taiwan, the South China Sea and its deepening relationship with the Pentagon - reflect positions refined over decades as the tiny island state seeks to secure itself in a region now undergoing historic strategic shifts amid China's rise.

No formal reasons yet for seizure of military vehicles in Hong Kong, Singapore’s defence ministry says


More than a week after a shipment of armoured troop carriers belonging to Singapore was impounded by Hong Kong customs, the city state’s Ministry of Defence said on Thursday it had yet to be given a formal explanation as to why the military vehicles were seized in the first place.

The defence ministry also noted that Hong Kong customs officials hoped to complete their investigation soon, amid escalating diplomatic tensions between China and Singapore.

Customs and Excise Department officials met shipping company APL executives on Thursday to discuss the impounding of the nine Terrex Infantry Carrier Vehicles (ICVs) and associated equipment. APL was hired by the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) to deliver the shipment back to the city state after the armoured cars were used for training in Taiwan.

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China lodges protest with Singapore over seizure of SAF armored vehicles
Nine eight-wheeled Singapore-made Terrex infantry carrier vehicles seized at a container terminal in Hong Kong, Nov. 24, 2016. (AP/Kin Cheung)

China's Foreign Ministry said on Monday that it had lodged a protest with Singapore after the city state's armored troop carriers were seized by Hong Kong customs en route from Taiwan.

At a regular media briefing, ministry spokesman Geng Shuang reiterated that Beijing firmly opposed countries with diplomatic ties with China having official exchanges, including military cooperation and exchanges, with Taiwan.

He said China wants Singapore to strictly adhere to the One-China principle.

related:
Singapore teams heads to Hong Kong to secure army carriers
China blasts Singapore's military cooperation with Taiwan
China comments on Singapore armored vehicles, equipment seized
Singapore to start proceedings to recover armored vehicles
Singapore military vehicles seized in Hong Kong

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Chinese paper warns Singapore military "hypocrisy" could harm relations
Armored troop carriers, belonging to Singapore, are detained at a cargo terminal in Hong Kong, China November 28, 2016. Photo: Reuters/ Bobby Yip

The Global Times, China's nationalist state-owned tabloid, has warned that Singapore's "hypocrisy" over its military relationship with Taiwan could harm bilateral relations with China, according to an op-ed published on Monday.

Nine Singaporean armoured troop carriers were impounded in Hong Kong last week en route back from Taiwan, sparking a rebuke from China's foreign ministry about maintaining military ties with Taipei.

"It is no longer reasonable for Singapore to continue... any kind of military exchange with Taiwan," said an opinion article in the paper, written by a commentator identified only as Ai Jun, which is a homonym for "love the army".


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Singapore says Hong Kong hasn't clarified reasons for seizing SAF armoured vehicles
Armored troop carriers, belonging to Singapore, are detained at a cargo terminal in Hong Kong, China November 28, 2016

Singapore said on Thursday it has not got any formal communication from Hong Kong about the reasons behind the confiscation of nine Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Terrex Infantry Carrier Vehicles.

One week after the Singapore army vehicles were seized in a surprise move by Hong Kong, apparently with the blessings of Beijing, Singaporean officials are still working to resolve the issue, the Mindef said.

"We have advised APL to give its full cooperation to the Hong Kong authorities in order to expedite the recovery of the SAF's assets .. Another meeting has been scheduled between APL and the Hong Kong Customs today," the Ministry of defence said, according to the Channel News Asia.


Singapore armed forces vehicles seized at Hong Kong port

Hong Kong seizes Singapore-bound armoured vehicles and military equipment shipped from Taiwan.

Hong Kong customs seized nine Singapore-bound armoured vehicles and military equipment that belong to the Singapore Armed Forces on Thursday (Nov 24).

The cargo, which was in 12 containers, was reportedly shipped from Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan to Singapore, although it is not known why the ship stopped by Hong Kong.


SAF armoured vehicles seized at Hong Kong port; China voices unhappiness to Singapore over military ties with Taiwan
Nine vehicles bound for Singapore, after being deployed for training in Taiwan, held up at Hong Kong Customs for inspections

Armoured vehicles belonging to the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), which were bound for Singapore after being used for overseas training, have been seized by Hong Kong Customs at a port in the city.

Nine vehicles were seized, Hong Kong media reported.

 The military vehicles were reportedly being shipped from Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan to Singapore in 12 containers, but it is not known why the ship carrying the containers had stopped by Hong Kong.

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Update on Delay in Shipment of the SAF's Terrex ICVs in Hong Kong
The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) contracted APL as the commercial shipping line to transport nine Terrex Infantry Carrier Vehicles (ICV) and associated equipment to Singapore. The nine Terrex ICVs are training platforms with no ammunition or sensitive equipment on board. APL was required to comply with all regulations including the declaration of transported equipment in the ship's cargo manifest as well as obtaining the necessary permits required to transit through ports.

During the transit through Hong Kong, customs officials raised queries if the necessary permits and declarations by APL were in order and in the process detained the Terrex ICVs. APL officials have assured the SAF that they are working with Hong Kong authorities to resolve the issue. The Singapore Consulate General in Hong Kong is also assisting in this matter. An SAF team is en route to Hong Kong to address the security of the equipment.

All commercial shipping lines used by the SAF are required to comply with stringent requirements for protection against theft and tampering of equipment during the shipment, in addition to applying for all relevant permits. These requirements have worked well and there have been no incidents of losses, theft or tampering over the years.

The SAF will review the circumstances of this incident and determine if added measures are required to prevent such occurrences.


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Hong Kong’s seizure of armoured vehicles ‘very sensitive’, Taiwan military sources say

Hong Kong Customs confiscated nine armoured vehicles this week at Kwai Chung Container Terminal 8, FactWire discovered on Thursday. Sources have since confirmed with FactWire that the consignment was shipped by APL, a subsidiary of French container transportation and shipping company CMA CGM Group.

Shipped from Kaohsiung of Taiwan and bound for Singapore, the twelve containers included nine armoured vehicles and three containers carrying firearms for training and military materials. Military sources from Taiwan told FactWire that the seizure of the armoured vehicles is “very sensitive as it involves international affairs, and would be carefully handled by Taiwan”.

The Government of Singapore issued a statement on Thursday confirming that “a shipment of Terrex Infantry Carrier Vehicles (ICVs) and associated equipment used by the SAF for overseas training was delayed at Hong Kong’s Kwai Chung Container Terminal, due to a request for routine inspections by the Hong Kong Customs authorities. Singapore authorities are providing relevant assistance to the Hong Kong Customs and expect the shipment to return to Singapore expeditiously.”

related:
Seized military vehicles belong to Singapore, used for training in Taiwan

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China using seized armoured vehicles row to ramp up political pressure on Taiwan’s president, say analysts
Nine armoured personnel carriers belonging to Singapore are being held at a facility in Tuen Mun after they were discovered by Hong Kong customs on a cargo vessel originating from Taiwan. Photo: David Wong


The seizure in Hong Kong of nine armoured ­personnel carriers ­belonging to Singapore that were part of a military exercise in ­Taiwan is being used as a ploy by Beijing to isolate and put more political pressure on the island’s president, according to analysts.

The move by Beijing is also a warning to Singapore over its military cooperation with Taiwan, which Beijing considers a breakaway province, they said, and could make other countries in the region more wary in following in the city state’s footsteps.

According to Hong Kong customs, it was carrying out a routine search on a vessel arriving from Taiwan last Wednesday at Kwai Chung container terminal, when it found suspected controlled items. Sources with knowledge of the matter said the nine military vehicles belonging to Singapore did not have the permits required by the Hong Kong government, and the vehicles were subsequently impounded.


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Singapore armoured vehicles held in Hong Kong should be ‘melted down’, says Chinese state tabloid

Armoured troop carriers belonging to Singapore and currently impounded in Hong Kong should be “melted down”, China’s influential state-run tabloid the Global Times said on Tuesday, in its second swipe at the island nation in two days.

The nine troop carriers were impounded in Hong Kong last week en route back from Taiwan, sparking a rebuke to Singapore from Beijing about maintaining military ties with self-ruled Taiwan, which Beijing considers a breakaway province.

Ties between China and Singapore have been strained in recent months, particularly over the disputed South China Sea.


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China’s Seizure of Singaporean Armored Vehicles Will Have Limited Impact
Six of nine armored troop carriers, which belong to Singapore, detained at a container terminal in Hong Kong, Nov. 24, 2016

Singapore has found itself caught in China’s crosshairs after its shipment of nine armored troop carriers was impounded last week in Hong Kong. The dispute has taken on a political tone with Chinese state media even suggesting the vehicles, which were used in a routine drill in Taiwan, should be melted down.

Although nationalistic sentiments in China are growing, analysts expect the incident to have a limited impact regionally after officials of both sides have engaged in diplomatic negotiations.

Singapore's minister of foreign affairs, Vivian Balakrishnan, sought to play down the dispute on Tuesday.

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Singapore wants ‘full rights of recovery’ on seized military vehicles, while looking to cool tension with China

Singapore reassured China that it “will not deviate” from the One-China principle while making it clear the city state hopes to exercise its “full rights of recovery” available after a meeting today between the Hong Kong government and shipping company APL.

The remarks by Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan and Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen came the day after China’s foreign ministry said China had lodged a diplomatic protest to Singapore over the saga, demanding the Lion City to strictly abide by the One-China principle.

Observers said the protest was a warning to both Singapore and Taiwan, as Singapore has been carrying out military exercises on the self-ruled island—a practice that has long angered Beijing.

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China blasts Singapore's military cooperation with Taiwan

A Chinese state newspaper on Tuesday criticized Singapore over the Southeast Asian city-state's military training with self-governing Taiwan, following the impounding of nine Singaporean infantry fighting vehicles transiting through Hong Kong.

The Communist Party-run Global Times said in an editorial Tuesday that Singapore was responsible for the incident, but gave no details about what laws or regulations have been broken by the shipping of the armored vehicles from Taiwan. The vehicles were being sent to Singapore from Kaohsiung, in southern Taiwan, after a military exercise there, when they were seized on Wednesday by Hong Kong.

The editorial said China has long opposed all forms of military cooperation between other countries and Taiwan, which Beijing claims as a breakaway province to be reunited with by force if necessary.

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Seizure of SAF armoured vehicles in HK began with Chinese law enforcement tip off: Factwire

Mainland Chinese law enforcement organisations had tipped off Hong Kong customs officials about a shipment of Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) armoured vehicles that arrived at the city's port earlier this week, leading to its eventual seizure, a new report has alleged.

Factwire, the Hong Kong news agency which broke the news of the seizure of the nine Terrex Infantry Carrier Vehicles, cited unnamed sources on Saturday saying that the shipment was discovered to have contained  "undeclared military materials" when it stopped for a layover at Xiamen’s Haitian Container Terminals in Fujian, eastern China, after departing Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

"Before the vessel arrived at the Hong Kong port, Customs were informed by mainland law enforcement organisations that the vessel contained undeclared military materials, and did not have an approval notice," Factwire said in its latest report. "When it arrived in Hong Kong, the Customs searched the vessel and confiscated relevant military materials."

related:
9 armoured vehicles, bound for S'pore, seized in HK
9 SAF armoured vehicles seized by HK authorities moved for 'storage'
Shipping firm APL trying to find out reason Terrex seizure:Chief of Army
9 armoured vehicles bound for S'pore 'delayed' at Hong Kong customs
Nine armoured vehicles shifted to 'secured area': SAF team in Hong Kong (CNA)

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Singapore says it has full rights to recover tanks seized in Hong Kong

Coming under pressure from China over the Terrex Infantry Carrier Vehicles seized in Hong Kong, Singapore has made it clear it is determined to retrieve its military equipment.

Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said the government is watching the outcome of the meeting between Hong Kong officials and the shipping contractor APL before deciding "an appropriate course of action".

"After this meeting, the reasons and legal basis for detention will be made clear. MINDEF and the Singapore Government will then commence proceedings to recover assets. We aim to comply with all regulations and then exercise our full rights in recovering our assets," Ng said, according to Channel News Asia. Officials from the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) are in Hong Kong to pursue the matter further, the minister said.

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Troop carriers seized: Is China sending Singapore a message?

Singapore is scrambling to recover nine armored troop carriers that have been impounded in Hong Kong for a week after they were used in a military training exercise in Taiwan.

Singapore's Ministry of Defence said the shipment of Terrex infantry carriers had been delayed on November 23 during a routine inspection by Hong Kong Customs. Local media reports have suggested the seizure was at Beijing's request.

It certainly earned Singapore a unusual public reprimand from China.

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Singapore denies China threat of strained relations, says armoured carriers incident won't ruin ties

Just a day after China lodged protest with Singapore over Hong Kong customs' seizure of nine armoured vehicles, which arrived at the Kwai Chung container terminal from in a shipment from Kaohsiung in southern Taiwan, Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said that Singapore won't allow the issue to hamper the county's relationship with China.

The minister said, speaking at a Straits Times forum, that Singapore cherishes its longstanding relationships with the Asian giant and still firmly supports the One China policy which considers Taiwan as a part of China.

"One thing in Chinese culture is you never forget your old friends, people who were there with you in the beginning, people who were there with you through thick and thin, and surely in Chinese culture you appreciate this concept of loyalty to old friends," said Balakrishnan, as reported by The Channel News Asia.

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Singapore plays down China fallout from troop carrier seizure

Singapore sought to play down the impact that the seizure by Hong Kong’s customs authorities of armored troop carriers being shipped from Taiwan could have on its relationship with Beijing, even as Chinese media pointed to growing anger over the incident.

The troop carriers were impounded last week as they passed through Hong Kong. The exposure of Singapore’s military ties to Taiwan — which Beijing views as a breakaway province — sparked a rebuke from China’s foreign ministry.

In his first comments on the matter, Singapore’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan was quoted by the Straits Times’ website on Tuesday as saying it was “not a strategic incident.”

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China complains to Singapore over ‘armoured vehicles’

China has lodged a diplomatic protest with Singapore after a shipment of Singaporean military armoured vehicles being brought back from Taiwan was seized in Hong Kong, Beijing´s foreign ministry said on Monday.

Beijing stated its opposition to "any form of official exchanges with Taiwan, including military exchanges and cooperation", foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters, urging Singapore to "stick to the ´One China´ principle".

Taiwan is a self-ruling democracy but Beijing still sees it as part of its territory. Relations have grown increasingly tense since the island´s new China-sceptic president Tsai Ing-wen took power in May.

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Hong Kong seized armored vehicles from Taiwan on China tip: media

Hong Kong customs seized a shipment of nine armored vehicles aboard a ship originating in Kaohsiung and bound for Singapore that was transiting through Hong Kong on Nov. 23 after it was tipped off by China, Hong Kong media reported Saturday.

Singapore has confirmed that the Terrex AV81 wheeled armored personnel carriers belonged to its military and were "used in overseas training," but it did not confirm that the training mission took place in Taiwan, as most observers suspect.

The Kaohsiung Customs office said the ship carrying armored vehicles and military items for the training of Singapore's Armed Forces departed from Kaohsiung on Nov. 22.

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Troop carriers seized: Is China sending Singapore a message?

Armored vehicles belonging to the Singapore military seen covered with tarpaulin in Hong Kong

Singapore is scrambling to recover nine armored troop carriers that have been impounded in Hong Kong for a week after they were used in a military training exercise in Taiwan.

Singapore's Ministry of Defence said the shipment of Terrex infantry carriers had been delayed on November 23 during a routine inspection by Hong Kong Customs. Local media reports have suggested the seizure was at Beijing's request. It certainly earned Singapore a unusual public reprimand from China.

"China opposes any country with which it has established diplomatic ties from conducting any official exchanges, including military, and cooperation with Taiwan. We urge the Singapore government to keep its promise to the One China principle," Geng Shuang, a spokesman for Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Monday.

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Chinese paper warns Singapore military 'hypocrisy' could harm relations

The Global Times, China's nationalist state-owned tabloid, has warned that Singapore's "hypocrisy" over its military relationship with Taiwan could harm bilateral relations with China, according to an op-ed published on Monday.

Nine Singaporean armored troop carriers were impounded in Hong Kong last week en route back from Taiwan, sparking a rebuke from China's foreign ministry about maintaining military ties with Taipei.

"It is no longer reasonable for Singapore to continue... any kind of military exchange with Taiwan," said an opinion article in the paper, written by a commentator identified only as Ai Jun, which is a homonym for "love the army".

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Singapore says will begin proceedings to recover military vehicles

Singapore will plan the next step in its efforts to regain custody of the detained infantry carriers from Hong Kong Customs after the shipping company APL completes its discussions with authorities today, local media reports said.

Nine Terrex Infantry Carrier Vehicles being shipped to Singapore from Taiwan were seized by Hong Kong Customs last week. Singapore Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen was cited by Channel News Asia as saying today that the island will exercise its "full rights” in recovering the armored vehicles.
The Singapore Armed Forces will decide on "an appropriate course of action” after the meeting, he said.

"After this meeting, the reasons and legal basis for detention will be made clear. We have to wait for the outcome of the meeting. "MINDEF (Ministry of Defence) and the Singapore Government will then commence proceedings to recover assets. We aim to comply with all regulations and then exercise our full rights in recovering our assets," Dr Ng said, speaking after a ministry event, CNA reported.

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Singapore’s refusal to halt military ties with Taiwan ‘prompted Beijing response to seizure of military vehicles’

Beijing’s response to the seizure of Singapore’s military vehicles in Hong Kong may stem from its frustration over failed attempts to have the city state sever its military ties with Taiwan, an analyst has said.

Beijing had previously offered the southern island of Hainan to Singapore as an alternative location to conduct its military training exercises, but Singapore repeatedly turned down the offer under pressure from the United States, according to Macau-based military expert Antony Wong Dong.

Regarding the nine Singapore-bound armoured military vehicles impounded in Hong Kong last week, Wong Dong said Beijing had years ago tried to convince Singapore to replace its “Starlight Project” military training bases in Taiwan with alternatives on Hainan Island, but to no avail.


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Teachable moments from SAF Terrex ICVs seized in Hong Kong

Without a shot fired, the Singapore Army lost possession of nine Terrex infantry carrier vehicles (ICVs) after Hong Kong customs impounded the armoured vehicles as they were transiting through the port.

This episode has many teachable moments for followers of statecraft and must be played out carefully as the concluding act has yet to take centre stage.

Any diplomatic gaffes, missteps by any party could result in misgivings that linger long after the fate of the SAF war machines has been decided upon. This would have unfortunate consequences for the parties concerned if what could be ascribed to routine/rigorous customs checks is given another spin.

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Training arrangement with Taiwan dates back to 1975


The Singapore Armed Forces’ Terrex Infantry Carrier Vehicle being driven at the Shoalwater Bay training area in Rockhampton as part of Exercise Wallaby, in Queensland, Australia. PHOTO: MINDEF

The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) conducts overseas training not only in Taiwan but also in a dozen or so countries, including Australia, Brunei, Germany, India and the United States.

The training arrangement with Taiwan dates back to 1975 - following talks between then Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew and then Premier Chiang Ching-kuo - when both sides reached an agreement to allow SAF units to train in Taiwan, given Singapore's limited land and airspace.

Through a programme dubbed Starlight, SAF personnel are put through their paces in the south- western part of Taiwan every year. Unilateral drills include manoeuvre operations over vast distances and live-firing exercises.

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新加坡装甲车被扣犯错在先 新大使竟对华叫嚣 (impounded vehicles should be confiscated and melted down)


9辆新加坡装甲车在香港码头被扣的事件仍在舆论中发酵,这9辆装甲车何时能允许新加坡方面重新装船拉走尚不得而知,新加坡媒体上出现大量猜测,有些评论相当可笑。

这件事完全是新加坡方面的错。首先,新加坡的大型军械出现在台湾开往新加坡的货船上,就不应该。中国反对外界与台湾有任何军事合作和军贸往来,这一立场举世皆知。新加坡作为中国的邦交国,有必要在这方面谨慎行事。虽然过去一直有新加坡军队在台湾训练的“历史遗留问题”,但对这个问题进行控制,主动避免相关做法产生负面现实影响,显然是新加坡应有的姿态。

除此之外,新加坡的装甲车不仅装到了从台湾驶出的货船上,而且由于他们自己的阴差阳错,把装有这些装甲车的货柜卸到了香港码头上,直接激活了香港必须扣留、调查这批武器的法律。这仅仅是新加坡方面的一个偶然差错吗?这样的解释难以服人。

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Full Coverage:
Singapore-China relations not a zero-sum game, says foreign minister
Shipping all military equipment direct will cost Mindef 3-4 times more: Ng Eng Hen
Seizure of SAF armoured vehicles in HK against international law: Ng Eng Hen
PM Lee asked Hong Kong leader for immediate return of Terrexes: Ng Eng Hen
Give us back our troop carriers, Singapore urges Hong Kong
Singapore has not raised Terrex issue with China: Vivian Balakrishnan
Singapore: Troop carriers held in Hong Kong should be freed
Spore must conduct foreign relations as sovereign, independent nation, says Vivian
Singapore wants Hong Kong to return its 9 seized armour vehicles
Seized SAF Terrex protected by sovereign immunity and cannot be legally detained
Spore says HK no legal right to hold its troop carriers, demands immediate return
Singapore demands return of army vehicles from HK
Ng Eng Hen: Detention of Terrex ICVs against international law
Singapore Demands Hong Kong Return Seized Military Vehicles
3 unambiguous takeaways from Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen's parliament speech
China issues swift rebuttal to Singapore Government that detention of Terrex is legal
Beijing urges 'caution' in handling of Singapore's seized military vehicles
Detention of Terrexes against international law, S'pore looks forward to return
China calls on Singapore to be cautious in handling of detained Terrexes
Spore PM Lee presses for immediate return of Terrex; HK asks for more time
PM Lee wrote to HK Chief Executive on Terrex issue: Ng Eng Hen
Spore defence minister says HK's seizure of military vehicles violates international
China urges caution with words, actions on Terrex issue
Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen urges Hong Kong: Return our state property
No need to politicise or engage in megaphone diplomacy over Terrex issue
Military vehicles seizure to be sorted under Hong Kong law, Singapore told
SAF vehicle seizure: China voices unhappiness to Singapore
SAF vehicle seizure: Shipping firm APL had used Hong Kong
Teachable moments from HK’s seizure of SAF vehicles
Foreign Minister & Army Chief hold shipping company responsible
SAF vehicle seizure: China voices unhappiness to Singapore
China comments on SAF armoured vehicles and equipment
SAF vehicle seizure: Shipping firm APL had used Hong Kong
SAF vehicle seizure: Singapore will not allow any single
Seizure of SAF armoured vehicles in HK began with Chinese
S'pore says seizure of vehicles by Hong Kong "not a strategic incident"
Use of shipping lines by militaries norm in peacetime, says Ng Eng Hen
Seizure of SAF vehicles not a strategic issue, says Vivian
SAF vehicle seizure: Don't politicise the issue
Singapore states intent to recover army vehicles held in Hong Kong
Vivian reiterates S'pore's firm belief in Asean integration
Singapore set to begin recovery of seized Terrex vehicles: Ng Eng Hen
Singapore will not allow any single issue to hijack relationship with China
China using seized vehicles to ramp political pressure on Taiwan
China's Seizure of S'porean Armored Vehicles Will Have Limited Impact
S'pore wants 'full rights of recovery' on seized vehicles, looking to cool
China blasts Singapore's military cooperation with Taiwan
Why Singapore's Taiwan ties anger China
Is Beijing discouraging S'pore-Taiwan relations having HK seize vehicles?
Spore's refusal to halt Taiwan military ties 'prompted Beijing seizure'
Does HK's seizure of vehicles give Beijing access to Spore's military?
S'pore will not allow any single issue to hijack ties with China:Bala
China complains to Singapore over 'armoured vehicles'
Seized SAF vehicles: China makes its unhappiness known
China: S'pore should adhere to 'One China policy', bashing Spore-Taiwan
SAF vehicle seizure: China voices unhappiness to Singapore
Singapore won't let any one issue hijack ties with China:Balakrishnan
China Lodges Protest With Singapore After Seizing Military V
China lodges protest with Spore over armoured vehicles seized in HK
Singapore military vehicle seizure
Singapore says will begin proceedings to recover military vehicles
'Not 1st time such an APL vessel had transited in HK'
Chinese paper warns Singapore military 'hypocrisy' could harm relations
Spore denies China threat of strained relations, incident won't ruin ties
S'pore says seizure of vehicles by Hong Kong "not a strategic incident"
S'pore won't let deep ties with China be derailed by a single issue:Vivian
Seized Spore armoured vehicles should be 'melted down', Chinese paper
Troop carriers seized: Is China sending Singapore a message?
Singapore plays down China fallout from troop carrier seizure
Spore armoured vehicles held in HK should be 'melted down'
Seized SAF vehicles should be melted down, says Global Times
S'pore armored vehicles ought to be 'melted down' for all Chinese people
Singapore stands by trade, integration, says Balakrishnan
S'pore to proceed to recover vehicles once reasons for detention clear
Beijing hits out on armored cars
Are we being “bullied” into submission by China over this Terrex incident?
Singapore says it has full rights to recover tanks seized in Hong Kong
Shipping firm APL had used HK as transit point w/o issues,Army Chief
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Seizure of SAF armoured vehicles in HK began with Chinese
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China comments on SAF armoured vehicles and equipment
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SAF vehicle seizure: Singapore will not allow any single
SAF vehicle seizure: Shipping firm APL had used Hong Kong
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China seizes US naval probe in South China Sea

China seized a U.S. Navy underwater drone in the South China Sea and the Pentagon demanded it back, raising a new point of tension between U.S. and Chinese military forces in the disputed waters as relations between the countries enter uncharted territory.

“It’s ours, it was clearly marked, we want it back, and we don’t want this to happen again,” said Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman.

The incident on Thursday occurred days after President-elect Donald J. Trump raised China’s ire by suggesting his administration could abandon a bedrock agreement on Taiwan’s status that has kept peace in the area for decades. Mr. Trump’s suggestion that the U.S. would maintain its position on Taiwan only if China makes concessions to American interests came after he broke decades of diplomatic protocol by accepting a phone call from Taiwan’s president, hitting one of Beijing’s most sensitive issues.

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Singapore rebuts Global Times report on South China Sea ruling


Singapore denies supporting the Philippines' push for arbitration over the territory's ownership

Beijing should make Singapore "pay the price for seriously damaging China's interests" with retaliations and sanctions, an influential Chinese military advisor has said.


Professor Jin Yinan, of the Public Liberation Army's National Defence University, made the remarks on Chinese-state radio on Thursday (29 September), reported the South China Morning Post.

The statement is the latest offensive in an on-going war of words over the South China Sea dispute after the Global Times, a Chinese newspaper, reported that Singapore endorsed the Philippines' case to bring international arbitration against China.

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The Little Red Dot and the Red Dragon

Last week, nine armoured vehicles — Terrex Infantry Carrier Vehicles belonging to the Singapore Armed Forces to be more precise — were detained by the Hong Kong Customs and Excise department. They were transiting through Hong Kong’s port, on their way back to Singapore after completing a training exercise in Taiwan.

Hong Kong authorities haven’t clearly stated the reasons for the detention beyond a “Customs inspection.” But the seizure of another state’s military vehicles is not routine, and given the parties involved — Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and of course the People’s Republic of China — this is a matter of extreme sensitivity.

Singapore has long managed a brilliant balancing act on the world stage; somehow our Little Red Dot has built a very substantial military, become a global finance hub and kept just about every major power on its side.

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related:
The Historic Ma-Xi Summit