China Voices Concern Over Singapore's Ties With Taiwan

By | Dec 01, 2016 03:07 PM EST
Singaporean soldiers

The Singapore army has been using Taiwan as a training base.(Photo : Getty Images)

China has lodged a formal protest with Singapore after Singaporean armored troop carriers were seized by Hong Kong customs officials en route from Taiwan.

The nine troop carriers were seized last week in Hong Kong, drawing a stern rebuke from China's foreign ministry.

China has warned Singapore against maintaining military ties with Taiwan, which China considers a break-away province.

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"China has already made representations over this to the Singapore side," a spokesperson for China's foreign ministry said

The Chinese government has always been opposed to countries that have relations with it also having any form of official exchanges with the Taiwan region, including military exchanges.

China's The Global Times tabloid warned that Singapore's continued alliance with Taiwan could potentially harm its relations with China.

"It's no longer for Singapore to continue any kind of military exchange with Taiwan," said an opinion article in the nationalist state-owned paper.

Singapore and Taiwan have cooperated militarily for a long time, a relationship that was kindled in the 1970s. The relationship involves Taiwan being used as a training ground for the Singaporean infantry.

This agreement has been tolerated by China, albeit grudgingly, since Beijing and Singapore re-established diplomatic exchanges in the 1990's.

China has claimed territorial sovereignty over Taiwan since Mao Zedong's Communist army won the Chinese civil war forcing Chiang Kai-Shek's Nationalist force to flee to the Island.

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