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China reproaches Singapore over congratulatory message to DPP’s victory

China issues a diplomatic reprimand to Singapore over its congratulatory message to Taiwan’s DPP, highlighting tensions and the fragile nature of cross-strait relations amid Beijing’s firm one-China policy.



Logo of Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Mao Ning, the Foreign Ministry Spokesperson of China.

In a recent episode that has brought to light the fragile nature of China’s diplomatic tolerance, the Republic of Singapore found itself in the midst of Beijing’s disapproval.

This tension arose following Singapore’s congratulatory message to Taiwan’s Vice President Lai Ching-te and the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) after their victory in the elections.

Beijing’s initial response to the DPP’s presidential election win last Saturday was to assert that Taiwan’s ruling party does not represent the entire island.

This stance was further emphasized when Mao Ning, the Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, responded to Singapore’s message to Vice President Lai at its routine press conference on Monday (15 Jan).

Mao stated, “China has immediately issued solemn démarches to Singapore,” a move tantamount to a diplomatic reprimand.

China has responded similarly to other countries, including the US, Japan, and several European nations, which intend to send delegations to the Taiwan region to “express congratulations” following the elections.

Mao underscored, “Singaporean leaders have consistently stated that the Taiwan issue is ‘a deep red line’ for China.”

She reiterated, “China values this position and anticipates Singapore’s strict adherence to the one-China principle, as well as tangible actions to strengthen overall friendly relations between China and Singapore.”

Inquiries directed at Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs regarding this situation reportedly went unanswered.

Singapore has actively advocated for increased dialogue on cross-strait relations despite Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong downplaying the chances of an imminent conflict over Taiwan.

In its recent message to Vice President Lai, Singapore’s Foreign Ministry emphasized the country’s “close and longstanding friendship with Taiwan and the Taiwanese people,” reaffirming its commitment to nurturing these ties within the confines of its “One China” policy. The ministry stated, “Singapore has consistently supported the peaceful development of cross-strait relations.”

Historically, since its independence and the concurrent establishment of Kuomintang rule in Taiwan, Singapore has maintained close relations with Taiwan, particularly in economic matters.

An example of close ties is the utilization of military training bases on the island by the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) since 1975. These bases have supported combined arms exercises involving infantry, artillery, and armoured units.

A noteworthy incident occurred on 12 November 2016 when nine SAF Terrex armoured personnel carriers were detained by Hong Kong authorities at Kwai Chung Container Port. This event drew substantial criticism from Chinese media, especially The Global Times and the Chinese foreign ministry, highlighting the perceived negative impact of Singapore’s ties with Taiwan on Beijing’s favoured One-China policy.

Singapore recognizes the one-China principle, which maintains that there is only one China, and Taiwan is an inseparable part of it.

Meanwhile, China has persistently refused to engage with Taiwan’s current President Tsai Ing-wen and has labelled Vice President Lai a “separatist.”

Beijing staunchly opposes the DPP, viewing it as having separatist tendencies. It claims sovereignty over Taiwan and has warned of potential forceful reclamation should Taiwan formally declare independence.

Concurrently, the DPP’s refusal to acknowledge Taiwan as part of China, a stance that the Kuomintang (KMT) does accept, is seen by Beijing as a prerequisite for cross-strait dialogue.

Although Taiwan is unlikely to declare independence, Beijing harbours concerns about potential gradual steps toward de facto independence.

These steps might include educational and cultural reforms that could shift Taiwanese public sentiment away from Chinese ties – a scenario Beijing likely views as analogous to developments in Hong Kong. This situation also reflects Taiwan’s fears of losing its distinct identity, a consequence it might face if it were to accept closer integration with China.

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Stupid CPC troll, XJP already admitted that China must win the hearts of Taiwanese rather than keep using rhetoric and threats. Another FAILED doggie indeed.

China should just STFU as the Taiwanese themselves have voted; it is not incorrect for other nations to send them well-wishes. China is projecting puffed up strength now more for internal consumption because its economy is not doing very well (putting it very diplomatically), and there is real fear of internal discontent (e.g. increasing jobless, decreasing growth, growing disparity of wealth, property sector bubble, etc.) than of external forces. So it HAS TO SEND out lots of nationalistic rhetoric, including we see, a troll. Like the pappies, face is very important, hor. For those that still haven’t figured it out,… Read more »

Say some more, and you will be crushed like a cockroach.

Lest one forgets, any congratulatory communiqué or communication of any form with Taiwan, … is deemed by CommChina as interference with it’s sovereignty and security !!! Talk about, … stretching a point, any point beyond the realms of feasibility or reality, is certainly the standout forte of the communists !!! CommChina wants to impose their version of “free speech and expression” on the rest of the world, especially where Taiwan is concerned, … as they will not and can~not accept that there are countries out there who see Taiwan as a “friend” !!! Well, … I suppose they are communists… Read more »

Pinky n bala insensitive. What about hen…….SAF Terrex impound?

don’t open the mouth too big! Talk quietly will be helpful.

everything also need press conference ah? TRIGGERED babies. give their safespaces and never do biz with them again. that’s the best.

China made a mistake with Hong Kong by not allowing it to govern itself as promised until 2047. So the Taiwanese voted in a democratic party to keep status quo to ensure the CCP will stay out.

Why is Singapore not allowed to congratulate Taiwan? PAP always says we are friends with everyone, are we going to be attacked for congratulating a friend?