HK to return seized army vehicles to Singapore

Singapore's foreign ministry said Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying told Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in a letter that investigations had been completed and the Terrex vehicles would be released.

HK to return seized army vehicles to Singapore

World Bulletin / News Desk

Hong Kong will return to Singapore nine armoured troop carriers it  impounded while in transit from military exercises in Taiwan, officials said Tuesday, ending a diplomatic row that also involved China.

Leung was responding to an earlier letter sent by Lee, the ministry said in a statement.

The November seizure of the vehicles by Hong Kong customs triggered a row also involving China, which has sovereignty over Hong Kong and considers Taiwan a renegade island awaiting reunification.

The Singapore vehicles were being shipped home from exercises in Taiwan, where the land-starved city-state has for decades trained its troops.

Following the seizure China lodged a diplomatic protest to Singapore over its military cooperation with Taiwan.

"This is a positive outcome. Prime Minister Lee has replied to Chief Executive Leung to thank him for Hong Kong’s cooperation in resolving this matter," the foreign ministry said.

Singapore Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said in a Facebook post: "SAF (Singapore Armed Forces) Terrexes are coming home to Singapore. Looking forward to this happy reunion with all Singaporeans in the Year of the Rooster."

Singapore had earlier demanded that the vehicles be returned.

Ties between China and Singapore were already strained over Singapore's perceived support for Southeast Asian nations disputing China's extensive territorial claims in the South China Sea.  

Hong Kong is semi-autonomous after being handed back by Britain to China in 1997. But Beijing controls foreign affairs issues and there are increasing fears over its interference in other matters.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 24 Ocak 2017, 22:57