The Singapore SDF's armored vehicles seized in Hong Kong should be melted down as per the wishes of the Chinese people, the communist party mouthpiece has said.
Upping the ante in the ongoing tussle between Singapore and China over the confiscation of the nine Terrex Infantry Carrier Vehicles by the Hong Kong customs, the Global Times added that Singapore now has a rotten image in the eyes of the Chinese people.
Interestingly the editorial says Singapore 'walked into the trap' in reference to the seizure of the armored vehicles which were being shipped from Taiwan where the SDF took part in military training.
While Chinese netizens have been fuming over Singapore's close ties with Taiwan, which China calls a renegade province, the Singaporeans view the current escalation in ties as one masterminded by China, which is miffed over the city state's stance in the South China sea dispute.
The Chinese language editorial also heavily criticized the current Singapore leadership."Compared to the Singapore during Lee Kuan Yew's era, which took a balanced position, it has veered into an unconventional path," it said, according to AsiaOne.
"Singapore's image in China is now so poor that the Chinese people feel that those armoured vehicles that 'came walking right into our trap' should be 'confiscated' and sent to the steel mills to be melted down."
Singapore Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan and Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen stressed said on Tuesday military training in Taiwan was not shielded from China. "You all know, and everyone including China knows, that we have had special arrangements with Taiwan for a long time," said Balakrishnan.
"People know where we train... and any training matters between us and other countries are bilateral. SAF will continue to train overseas based on existing agreements between countries," Ng said.
Singapore's military and other ties with Taiwan go back to the 1970s but China says Singapore should not have continued the military partnership after it established diplomatic ties with Beijing in the 1990s.