The last two paragraphs in the story tells me the MP Joan Pereira doesn't get it. I quote from it.
Come on, we are not dealing with America. Minister Shanmugam can go to DC and publicly lecture them about the importance of the TPP but never try that with China, it must always be spoken politely even if firmly behind closed doors. Ambassador Loh response to Global Times was SOP from Singapore but that was never going to be effective or useful unless you are prepared to escalate the argument. We should know by now the Chinese will insist on having the last word. The Chinese are not Chinese Americans!Referring to Yum’s predicament, Tanjong Pagar GRC Member of Parliament Joan Pereira, who sits on the Government Parliamentary Committee for defence and foreign affairs, pointed out that the “risk to trade and business is real”.“This makes it important for the Government to clarify the misreporting in the Global Times, which is exactly what our Ambassador has been doing,” she said. She reiterated that in the South China Sea disputes, as well all international issues, Singapore’s national interest “lies not in taking sides but in supporting a rule-based world order”.
Anyway China doesn't care about the rule of law unless it suits them. China doesn't care what is Singapore's national interest. If we get in their way, they will just roll over us. Period.
Dealing with another country is all about leverage. If you don't have any you better find something or be prepared to hurt bad.
At this point we have no leverage over China but if they keep pushing this the situation will change and additional options will become available to us. Whatever it is going to get worse before it gets better. This government must know that the Chinese do not care for the facts or the truth. They first decide what they want and then invent the facts and truth to legitimize their action. Trying to agree on facts on the ground with the Chinese is a waste of time when it is against their interests regardless of their legitimacy.
To the Chinese the natural order of things is that since we are an overwhelmingly Chinese majority nation why aren't we a satellite Chinese nation? They will never understand that and they cannot accept that we have stopped being Chinese either and that is because we haven't.
The Chinese strategy against us is both audacious and simple. They want to destroy voters' support for the PAP government. They have observed that the PAP is only afraid of voters. So if they can frighten us perhaps we would pressure the government to lean towards China. In return we would be rewarded. They never understood us and refused to anyway. They assume absent Lee Kuan Yew we would become more Chinese because that is only natural, and if we aren't then we have been diseased by western influence and they can help us through re-education. They saw what western ideas had done to Hong Kong and infer we caught another strain of the same disease.
China cannot be resisted in the way we had fought other diplomatic battles in the past. The Cabinet must have wished if we could have another early China type opportunity with India but life is seldom so convenient.