Well folks, let's face it. We are in a David vs Goliath situation. As the old saying goes, Big Countries do what they want, and and small countries suffer what they must. Big China has decided to teach Small Singapore a lesson by seizing the Terrex vehicles that were transiting through Hong Kong's port. After more than a month, there is no end to this saga.
This Chinese official (obviously told to go on media), has explained it very clearly. Singapore has not given China the assurances on two very important conditions.
First, Singapore did not inform the Hong Kong authorities that such sensitive cargo was transitting through the port. Why was this?
Second, and the real reason, Singapore did not adhere to the 'One China' policy because Singapore continues to train in Taiwan. The official said that Singapore's reason that the relationship with Taiwan goes back to the 1970s does not take into account that the modern reality is different. China is not the China of 30 years ago. Back then, Singapore started training in Taiwan (with the silent backing of the USA), China could do nothing about it even though China was not happy.
Today, China has decided to do something about it. Until these two conditions are met, the Chinese official categorically stated that Singapore will NOT get back her Terrex vehicles.
|Not Going To Give You Back, Big China tells Small Singapore|
What should we do? That, ladies & gentleman, is the million dollar question. Now, bear in mind, the whole world is watching this closely, watching what Singapore would do, watching whether Singapore would cave in to China, watching whether the people of Singapore would scold their Government and tell the Singapore Government to give in.
If we give in, I'd say we are doomed. Yes, we will get back our 9 Terrexes (apparently worth $30 million or so), but what will we lose? We will lose our credibility as a sovereign country in the eyes of the rest of the world. We will lose our reputation as an independent country, upholding international law, respecting rule of law. So, give in, and don't blame our foreign friends for thinking that we are now part of China.
What We Should Do
Much as I don't like Donald Trump, I would like to quote his tweet as a possible Singapore response, in the event China simply refuses to return the Terrex. Here was his tweet,
To paraphrase Trump,
"We should tell China that we don't want the Terrexes they stole back - let them keep it!"
Tell the whole world that China is the thief, the big bully, the country that unilaterally disregards international law. They stole our good and let them keep it, so that the whole world can see for themselves who the thieves are.
As for the 9 Terrexes, we'll just build another 9 lah. After all, aren't they locally made? Create jobs for ourselves ain't a too bad an idea is it?