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S’pore-China ties: One myth makes three?

I refer to the article “3 myths about S’pore-China ties” (Sunday Times, May 21).

It states that “Mr Wong clarified the issue when asked about this. He told reporters on May 16, a day after the event, that the invitation was decided by the Chinese – which meant PM Lee wasn’t invited.

The snub was on the Chinese side, not Singapore’s. I’m glad Mr Wong set the record straight.

MYTH 1: SINGAPORE HAS CHANGED ITS STANCE ON CHINA AND NOW ALIGNS ITSELF MORE OVERTLY WITH THE UNITED STATES”

In this connection, according to the news report “China Frictions May See Singapore Miss Out on Belt-Road Billions” (Bloomberg, May 17) – “Despite strong historical and cultural ties to China, the tiny state of Singapore has found itself in Beijing’s crosshairs, in part for its stance over territorial disputes in the South China Sea. As other Southeast Asian leaders lined up to meet President Xi Jinping at a summit in Beijing this week for his Belt-and-Road Initiative, Singapore was represented by National Development Minister Lawrence Wong.

China views Singapore as being less supportive of Xi’s plan because unlike other countries that announced their leaders would attend without requiring a formal invitation, Singapore sought an invite, according to people familiar with the matter. They asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the information.

A number of hiccups last year put a cloud over ties. Singapore as coordinator for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations-China relationship was caught up in public wrangling over how Asean should respond as a collective to China’s claims to most of the South China Sea. The city-state doesn’t contest the waters itself.

Singapore lets the U.S. Navy use it as launchpad to send Littoral Combat Ships and Poseidon surveillance aircraft into the South China Sea.”

“MYTH 3: CHINA IS OUT TO PUNISH SINGAPORE, AND SINGAPOREANS SHOULD FEEL WORRIED ABOUT THIS AND PRESSURE THE SINGAPORE GOVERNMENT TO BE MORE ACCOMMODATING OF CHINA”

In this connection, according to the news report “China urges caution with words, actions on Terrex issue” (Channel NewsAsia, Jan 9) – “China on Monday (Jan 9) called for caution with words and actions, after Singapore’s Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen told Parliament that Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) armoured troop carriers held in Hong Kong are protected by sovereign immunity and cannot be legally detained.

“It is hoped that all relevant countries, including Singapore, can earnestly respect the one-China policy, which is the fundamental prerequisite for China to develop ties with other countries,” Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Lu Kang said in response to a reporter’s question during a regular briefing.”

What are your views on the above?