Hong Kong to release Singapore's detained troop carriers

A member of security gestures near tarpaulin-covered armoured vehicles belonging to the Singapore military at a customs and excise facility in Hong Kong on November 25, 2016.
Anthony Wallace | AFP | Getty Images
A member of security gestures near tarpaulin-covered armoured vehicles belonging to the Singapore military at a customs and excise facility in Hong Kong on November 25, 2016.

Hong Kong will release Singapore's armored vehicles impounded and detained in the Chinese-ruled territory during shipment from Taiwan following military exercises there, the city-state said on Tuesday.

In a statement, Singapore's foreign affairs ministry said Hong Kong authorities would release the Singapore Armed Forces' troop carriers and other equipment to the Singapore government.

The notification came in a reply by Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying to a letter from Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, it added.

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

Hong Kong customs seized the troop carriers in November as they were being shipped to Singapore from Taiwan after military exercises on the island that Beijing regards as a breakaway province, sparking tension between Singapore and China.

Beijing, which regained sovereignty over the former British colony of Hong Kong in 1997, then warned countries against maintaining military ties with Taiwan.

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