Sat, Oct 02, 2004 - Page 2 News List

Singapore flag burned in angry protest

AP , TAIPEI

Demonstrators burned the Singaporean flag yesterday in Kaohsiung, protesting a recent speech by Singapore's foreign minister who warned that supporters of Taiwanese independence were risking war with China.

The small group of protesters lit a fire in a metal barrel and dipped Singapore's red and white flag into the flames while chanting, "Singapore is an informer."

Ties with Singapore have traditionally been friendly. But relations turned chilly after Singaporean Foreign Minister George Yeo (楊榮文) gave a speech at the UN last week that some thought unfairly criticized Taiwan.

Yeo warned that some Taiwanese groups were pushing for independence and that this would spark a war with China that would drag in other countries.

The speech angered Minister of Foreign Affairs Mark Chen (陳唐山), who complained that Yeo did not mention that China was threatening Taiwan with hundreds of missiles. One protester at yesterday's flag-burning event accused Singapore of pretending to be sympathetic to Taiwan as it covertly sided with China.

"The government shouldn't let Singapore continue to go back and forth between the two sides and inform on us," the protester said.

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