Speaking in Parliament today, PAP Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan said that the seizure of the Terrex vehicles by HK authorities should not be politicised and that S'pore did not see the need to engage in "megaphone diplomacy" to resolve the issue.
Vivian Balakrishnan's latest statement contrasts sharply with his assertive stance back in July 2016 when he consistently called on China to obey international law particularly the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
Isn't it strange that at that time, Vivian and his master Lee Hsien Loong didn't see the wisdom of not engaging in such "megaphone" diplomacy in respect of China but try to persuade it quietly behind the scenes as a "neutral" friend?
Whether the PAP likes it or not, the subsequent negative comments from the Chinese media and some senior ranking officials towards S'pore as well as the current impasse appear to be a result of them misreading China.
And oh, we remember too Lee Hsien Loong's pork soup and free smoke jokes on China when he was in the US - of all places.