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China issues swift rebuttal to Singapore Government that detention of Terrex is legal

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The Chinese Foreign Ministry has asked the Singapore government to be cautious in how it handles the seizures of the nine Terrex infantry carrier vehicles by the Hong Kong Customs and Excise Department. It emphasised that the impounding were in accordance to the law.

South China Morning Post which reported the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s briefing (which came after Singapore’s Defence Minister address in Parliament), quoted a spokesman as saying, “I hope the relevant parties can be cautious in their remarks and actions.”

The spokesman Lu Kang added: “I want to stress that China hopes other nations, including Singapore, follow the one-China principle. This is the foundation for bilateral ties between China and any other nation. I hope the relevant parties can follow the laws of Hong Kong, China.”

Singapore’s Defence Minister, Dr Ng Eng Hen, had earlier said that it is illegal to detain or confiscate the military equipment detained in Hong Kong.

“The legal position is that the SAF Terrexes and other equipment detained in Hong Kong are the property of the Singapore Government. They are protected by sovereign immunity, even though they were being shipped by commercial carriers. This means that they are immune from any measures of constraint abroad. They cannot legally be detained or confiscated by other countries.”

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