China’s “Solemn Demarches” Have No Impact on Singapore-China Relations, says MFA


Singapore’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, has confirmed that China’s demarches in response to Singapore’s congratulatory message to Taiwan’s new President will not affect Singapore’s relationship with China or its “One China” policy.

In a written answer to a parliamentary question, Dr Balakrishnan stated that Singapore reiterated its longstanding approach and “One China” policy to China. He emphasized that Singapore’s strong and deep relations with China remain unaffected, and engagements between the two countries continue as usual.

Singapore was approached by the Chinese, and we reiterated our longstanding approach and “One China” policy. Our strong and deep relations with China have not been affected, and our engagements with China have proceeded apace.

– Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan

Mr Dennis Tan Lip Fong, a Member of Parliament in Singapore, had asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs about the potential impact of China’s demarches on Singapore’s relationship with China and its adherence to the “One China” policy.

The context for this question is Singapore’s congratulatory message to Taiwan’s newly elected President.

The demarches by China came after Singapore congratulated Taiwan’s William Lai Ching-te for securing the presidency for the Democratic Progressive Party in Taiwan’s recent elections.

Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that the congratulatory message was made based on Singapore’s “One China” policy and its close and longstanding friendship with Taiwan. The ministry also reiterated Singapore’s support for the peaceful development of cross-strait relations.

China rebuked several countries, including Singapore, the United States, Japan, and various European nations, for congratulating Lai on his victory. The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson expressed China’s concern and immediately made demarches to Singapore, calling for the country to strictly abide by the “One China” principle and uphold the overall friendly relations between the two countries.

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