Chinese defence adviser turns up heat on Singapore over South China Sea row

by Minnie Chan / 01 October, 2016 / South China Morning Post

Beijing should impose sanctions and retaliate against Singapore to make the city state “pay the price for seriously damaging China’s interests”, an influential Chinese defence adviser told state radio.

The remarks by Professor Jin Yinan came amid stern criticism by China over Singapore’s reported insistence on including content that backed the Philippines’ position on an international arbitration ruling on claims to the South China Sea in the final document of the Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in Venezuela early last month.

 But Jin, former director of the strategic research institute at the PLA’s National Defence University, turned up the heat further late on Thursday, accusing Singapore of taking an active role in turning the South China Sea dispute into an international issue in recent years. He said Singapore had advised Washington on the matter and stirred up conflicts between the US and China, according to an interview with state-owned China National Radio.

“It’s inevitable for China to strike back at Singapore, and not just on the public opinion front,” Jin was quoted as saying. “Since Singapore has gone thus far, we have got to do something, be it retaliation or sanction. We must express our discontent.”

Jin confirmed to the South China Morning Post he had talked to CNR on Thursday and criticised Singapore, but he refused to detail what measures China might take to punish the country.

Jin has been China’s representative at the annual Shangri-La Dialogue, a regional security ­forum in Singapore, for the past two years.

In his interview with the broadcaster, he put forward ­several examples that he said showed Singapore was involved in escalating the South China Sea issue to the international level, which had harmed China’s national interests.

He said Singaporean Prime Minster Lee Hsien Loong devoted his entire one-hour speech at last year’s Shangri-La Dialogue to the matter. Read more…

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