Singapore continues to wait for the return of nine of its armored vehicles seized by Hong Kong customs as they were returning to the city state after a joint exercise in Taiwan.
While, formally, the matter is one for Hong Kong customs and law to decide, this seizure, which took place last November, is perceived to be a Chinese reaction to military ties with Taiwan, which it regards as a province under the ‘One China’ policy.
Earlier this week, China’s state-run Global Times newspaper warned U.S. President-Elect Donald Trump of ‘revenge’ if he ‘reneged on the One China policy after taking office’. As it so happened, Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen was visiting the U.S. at the time.
President-Elect Trump had also taken a call from her, congratulating him on his victory in the presidential elections.
Taiwan and China compete for diplomatic recognition and Taipei lost a round last month when the African island country of São Tomé and Príncipe broke off diplomatic relations with it and recognized the People’s Republic of China.
This is usually about money.
Meanwhile, China has sent its aircraft carrier, Liaoning, into the Taiwan Strait on Wednesday prompting Taiwan to scramble fighters, reconnaissance aircraft and a frigate to keep an eye on the former Varyag carrier.
This is also being perceived as messaging to President-Elect Trump, who is to take office next week. A Chinese H-6 bomber flew around the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea, over the weekend and also forced Japan and South Korea to scramble fighters when six H-6 bombers, besides an AEW and an ISR aircraft were spotted in the Sea of Japan and ten Chinese aircraft were said to have entered South Korea’s air defense identification zone on Monday.