Thu. Jun 13th, 2024
via Facebook/AGoodCitizen

This post is part of the series SAF Vehicle Seize

Other posts in this series:

  1. What’s the deal with China holding our military vehicles? Bilahari Kausikan explains
  2. How should we react to China holding our armoured vehicles?
  3. Netizens: China’s a big but petty nation with double standards (Current)

TL:DR – we need to be united so that we can’t be bullied!

Nine of our amoured personnel carriers (APCs) were impounded by Hong Kong. That sparked a whole lot of discussions online. Many people (including us and ambassador-at-large, Mr Bilahari Kausikan) have said a lot about this incident online.


Someone has collated some comments made in Chinese into a (fairly) coherent article. We think the article provides an interesting perspective on this issue. That’s why we have decided to translate these online comments into English for more people to read it:






Singapore knows that we are a small country. We understand our own strengths and weaknesses. We are well aware of our own position in the world. We don’t overreach. Nor are we insecure that we are a small country. Singapore and the big powers (e.g. USA and China) depend on one another, but Singapore isn’t reliant on them. We are pragmatic and not pretentious. We are willing to negotiate with other countries to collectively advance our interests. But we are always principled.

That’s how we have not only survived but thrived. And it’s definitely no mean feat. We have to carefully negotiate amongst the big powers. We are surrounded by Islamic countries. We are a tiny country at a key strategic location.

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That’s why we need to have strategic alliances in order to survive. We do have military ties with USA, but we definitely not a mouthpiece of USA. Our position has always been that we won’t choose sides between China and USA. Because we know that choosing sides aren’t beneficial to us. Rather, the best position is to be friends with both superpowers.

That’s why we try to be useful to both USA and China. Yet, we do not completely side with either side. Yes, at this point, it does sound like Singapore is like a lady two-timing two eligible bachelors. In some ways, that’s the correct way of understanding Singapore’s position.

Nevertheless, from China’s perspective, Singapore is actually quite a good, albeit small, friend. Our first prime minister, the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew, and China’s Deng Xiao Ping are good personal friends. Both are great, farsighted political leaders.


China has regularly claimed that USA’s neo-imperialism is like a “paper tiger”. If that’s the case, why doesn’t China directly fight against USA rather than bullying a small country like Singapore? Has China forgotten that Singapore has helped China open up and gain access to the global marketplace? China’s current actions make it seem ungrateful and petty!





开了过后或许缩短其他国家航线。但是对于南半球国家,尤其印尼,澳洲和纽西兰,你要 他们如何不绕过新加坡直接过来克拉运河去北部过系啊?




In reality, China doesn’t have a strategy to really fight against USA. What can they do? Fight economically? Shut down their economy? Let’s see if they can even handle Trump. And would China dare to go against USA militarily? Not likely. Is that why China chose to bully Singapore? Because Singapore’s a much easier target? Is that why China is planning so many projects (e.g. Kra canal, China-Pakistan rail link, and port in Malacca) to undercut Singapore’s interests?

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That said, the China-Pakistan rail link will only affect China and Pakistan. Japan and Korea won’t have to use that, even if shipments are going to Russia. As for the Kra Canal, there are still many unknowns, not least the political situation in Thailand. But even if the Kra Canal is completed and shorten some navigation routes, many of the shipments from countries in the southern hemisphere (e.g. Indonesia, Australia, and New Zealand) will still have to pass through Singapore before they reach the Kra Canal.

Also, is it possible for China to carry out all these mega-projects all at once? If China constructs the Kra Canal, wouldn’t that make the port in Malacca is a white elephant? Isn’t that shooting themselves in the foot? Can you see the problem here? Have they thought about this? Even if China drops the idea of the Kra Canal and just builds the port in Malacca, many of the shipments from countries in the southern hemisphere will still have to pass through Singapore.

As for Malaysia’s East Coast Rail Line project that China is financing and building, who will finance the maintenance? After it is built, it will be costly to manage and maintain. The monsoon rains will increase the costs of repairs and maintenance. Taken together, will it still be economically viable?


That said, all countries need to learn how to maintain cordial relationships with a rising China. That’s why we should support Singapore’s efforts to continue being friendly to China and other countries while advancing our national interests.

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新加坡对中国的友好已经是比大部分国家好多。但是如果对方无礼无法的攻击, 那是无法必免的。在这要新加坡学习的, 团结才是必免被急压和欺负的下长。

In reality, Singapore is already friendly to China compared to most other countries. But it is still unavoidable that, from time to time, China would unreasonably and lawlessly pick on Singapore. What we can do is learn and be untied so that we can avoid being bullied.

There, this issue is buzzing online amongst the Chinese communities in Singapore, and in case you don’t read Chinese, we hope this gives you a feel of what some of the netizens are feeling. Guess the concern over the matter is real, and the desire to come together and rally behind our own little red dot is also real.

We’ll leave you with this graphic that has been making its rounds these couple of days,

Continue reading this series:

By Joey Wee

I am nice, most of the time!

One thought on “Netizens: China’s a big but petty nation with double standards”
  1. Google says “Bamboo, has a higher specific compressive strength than wood, brick or concrete and a specific tensile strength that rivals steel.” The bigger you are the harder you fall. Once an oak tree gets uprooted in a major storm it remains on the ground. We’ve been like the slim and puny bamboo that bends and sways in the direction of the wind without getting uprooted. As soon as the storm blows over it stands upright again.

    Of course China cannot take on the USA militarily. The USA and Russia combined accounts for 90% of the world’s nuclear weapons stockpile. China claims nearly 90% of the South China Sea as their waters based on historical records. Well based on historical records, in 1422 Admiral Cheng Ho founded USA with the greatest fleet of ships the world had ever seen, 70 years before Christopher Columbus “found” America in 1492. Which means in truth, America belongs to China! Fast forward to the mid-1860s, Russia seized a city in China, that city is called Vladivostok today. Vladivostok is currently home port of the powerful Russian Pacific naval fleet. Its pretty obvious why China is in no hurry to claim back America and Vladivostok based on “historical records.”

    As for China’s plan to operate a port in Malacca, I wish China all the best. If only things were that straight forward. China will have to deal with corruption and the bumiputra policy. Google ‘new economic policy’ and you’ll get the full story. Still, its China’s and Malaysia’s business to jointly operate a maritime port to rival Singapore’s PSA, we welcome the competition, it keeps all parties on our toes and we all improve. Just like Boeing and Airbus and smaller players like Brazil’s Embraer. An analogy here……. Coca Cola is the biggest soft drink maker in the world, but that doesn’t mean that all the other smaller soft drink companies roll over and die. If they’re nimble, astute and creative they can carve a niche market for themselves to survive and thrive. Look at Fraser & Neave (F&N) they’re still alive and kicking in spite of Coca Cola. I believe the market is big enough to accommodate China’s developments in Malaysia and our PSA. US$5 trillion of seaborne trade annually in this South East Asia region and not everything is going to this future China/Malaysia port. If we play our cards right we can steal a big chunk of the pie too. We too have gone India, another big market waiting to be tapped. India’s population is set to overtake China’s in ten years time, another big business opportunity. 90% of the world’s trade is seaborne.

    China has also talked about the KRA Canal in Thailand. If only things were that straight forward. The planned project has major obstacles to overcome before it bears fruition, particularly the cost (multi billions of dollars), damage to the environment, political will and internal bickering and corruption + the canal sits in the middle of the restless Thai muslim minority south who aren’t thrilled about the project unless they get a cut of the profits. They’re also demanding self autonomy separate from the kingdom and have been fighting an insurgency since 1949. Don’t give me a cut of the profits I will disrupt your business operations. Its not like in Singapore where there is stability and very strong rule of law. By the way, PSA makes up 7% of Singapore’s GDP. We are highly diversified and not dependent on any single industry or country for business and revenue.

    China is one country, the world has more than 230 countries. China has 1.3 billion people, the world has another 6 billion people. The sooner China realizes all of the above, the better.

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