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.
Singapore’s Defense Ministry said the vehicles were used “in routine overseas training and shipped back via commercial means as with previous exercises” and no ammunition was on board. A Singapore Armed Forces team has been allowed to inspect the vehicles, which were then resealed.
“Our training overseas has never been secret. People know where we train, openly,” Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen said Tuesday.