- Title: Hong Kong says Singapore not part of probe into troop carriers
- Date: 25th January 2017
- Summary: HONG KONG, CHINA (JANUARY 25, 2017) (REUTERS) ****WARNING CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** COMMISSIONER OF HONG KONG CUSTOMS, ROY TANG, ENTERING MEDIA CONFERENCE HONG KONG CUSTOMS AND EXCISE LOGO PHOTOGRAPHERS (SOUNDBITE) (English) COMMISSIONER OF HONG KONG CUSTOMS, ROY TANG, SAYING: "We did not identify any information which points to the possibility of the Singapore government being involved in the breach of the licensing conditions."
- Embargoed: 8th February 2017 11:44
- Keywords: China Hong Kong Singapore troop carriers
- Location: BEIJING AND HONG KONG, CHINA
- City: BEIJING AND HONG KONG, CHINA
- Country: China
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA00160KW2F9
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Hong Kong said on Wednesday (January 25) the Singapore government would not be criminally prosecuted over a licensing breach in the Chinese-ruled city in connection with the seizure of nine armoured vehicles in November.
Hong Kong authorities seized the Singapore military's troops carriers in November, as they were on their way home from military exercises in Taiwan.
After the vehicles were seized, Beijing, which regained sovereignty over the former British colony of Hong Kong in 1997, warned countries against maintaining military ties with Taiwan, which it views as a wayward province.
Commissioner of Customs Roy Tang, speaking to reporters a day after Hong Kong said it would release the carriers, said the shipper could move them after all relevant paperwork had been completed.
"We did not identify any information which points to the possibility of the Singapore government involved in the breach of the licensing conditions," he said.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said the Hong Kong government handled the issue in accordance with the law.
"I want to stress once more that the Taiwan issue concerns China's core interests. The "one China" principle is the precondition and political basis for china and other countries to have and to develop relations. The Chinese government has consistently resolutely opposed countries which have relations with china having any kind of official exchanges with the Taiwan region, including military exchanges and cooperation. China has made representations with Singapore about this and hopes the Singapore government earnestly and scrupulously abides by the "one China" principle," Hua told a daily news briefing in Beijing.
The seizure came amid mounting regional uncertainty and diplomatic strains between China and Singapore, which has strengthened its longstanding security ties with the United States in recent years and remains concerned about Beijing's assertive territorial stance in the South China Sea.
U.S. President Donald Trump, who was inaugurated on Friday (January 20), upset Beijing before taking office by casting doubt on the "one China" principle, under which Washington acknowledges Beijing's position of sovereignty over self-ruled Taiwan.
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