Nine Singapore Military Vehicles Seized by Hong Kong Customs
Nine Singaporean military vehicles were seized and impounded after Hong Kong customs officials were tipped off by mainland agents regarding the entry of military vehicles through a cargo ship docking in Xiamen Mainland Port.
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The cargo ship initially set sail in Taiwan but docked in the Xiamen Mainland Port en route to Hong Kong, according to the FactWire news agency report.
Singapore government assigned delegates, who arrived in Hong Kong last Friday, to hasten the process of recovering the confiscated vehicles and subdue any possible conflict. However, Singapore would have to contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in China to recover the nine military vehicles.
Another issue cited was that the discovery of the vehicles has already been reported to the mainland and they alone have the power to decide whether to release them. Hong Kong customs officials, who seized the vehicles in the first place, have no control over the decision of release.
Prior to the cargo ship's arrival in Hong Kong, Chinese law enforcers have already provided the information to the Hong Kong police force that the ship contained military equipment, which was undeclared.
When the cargo ship arrived in semi-autonomous country, the custom officers immediately conducted a search on the vessel and confiscated the military equipment.
The Ministry of Defense in Singapore said through a press statement that the customs officials detained the military vehicles as part of the delay related to the request of Hong Kong customs routine inspections.
In response, a representative of the Hong Kong Customs said that the 12 shipping containers, which carried suspected items, were found on the vessel docked at the Kwai Chung container terminal during the standard operation of ship search last Nov. 23.
The political standoff places Hong Kong in the role of a mediator between the increased tension of China and Singapore. Singapore openly expressed their 'strategic geopolitical disagreements' with Beijing relating to the issue of the South China Sea.
The impounding of the nine Singapore military vehicles by Hong Kong Customs affected the diplomatic ties between Beijing, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan.