China deplores Singapore’s Lee visiting Taiwan

China deplores Singapore’s Lee visiting Taiwan

BEIJING, Sept. 26 Kyodo

China on Monday expressed strong discontent with Singapore’s Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew’s visit to Taiwan, and urged Singapore to respect Beijing’s ”one-China” policy.

China Central Television quoted Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Sun Yuxi as calling the four-day visit, which began Saturday, ”regrettable and disappointing.”

”We are firmly opposed to any country that has relations with China conducting any kind of official exchanges with Taiwan,” Sun said.

Lee, who traveled with his Second Defense and Education Minister Teo Chee Hean, is scheduled to stay until Tuesday for ”a private and informal” trip, according to a statement from Singapore Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong’s office.

Before the trip, Lee said he wanted to visit Taiwan to keep abreast of local developments, adding that he would likely meet with leaders of key political parties.

Singapore’s officials occasionally visit Taiwan on an informal basis, to maintain the close economic ties between the two territories. Singapore has also sent soldiers to train in Taiwan, saying this was due to a lack of facilities at home.

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