Taiwanese legislator praises S'pore for gaining trust & respect to host Trump-Kim summit

But she was probably using Singapore to critique the current Taiwanese ruling government.

Guan Zhen Tan | June 22, 2018, 05:07 PM

Singapore is getting some loving in Taiwan.

Taiwanese legislator Wang Yu-Min of the Kuomingtang party has praised Singapore's efficiency and ability to win the trust of different countries in the Trump-Kim summit.

Her comments were aired on a programme, Political Gossip (大政治大爆卦), which was aired on Chung Ti'en News Channel (CTi News).

The full video was also uploaded to YouTube on June 13, a day after the June 12 Trump-Kim summit in Singapore.

A short snippet from the one-hour 46-minute video was reposted on Facebook with English subtitles superimposed.

To help you save data, we've put together the subtitles into a transcript:

Wang: Look at Singapore's population. Only five million. Taiwan's population is 23 million. Singapore's population is much lesser.

Singapore's land is only 719.9 square km,  which is smaller than our Xinbei city, Taoyuan or Tainan.

Such a small country, Mark Chen (Chen Tang-shan, foreign minister in 2004) said Singapore is smaller than a snot, which is uncalled for. But their land area is 1/50th of ours. Definitely smaller than Taiwan.

Look at the numbers. Our population is four times bigger and our land area is 50 times more.

If the Democratic Progressive Party can shed their political ideology and manage (Taiwan) properly, should we be worse off than Singapore and only at our level today, and not at today's Taiwan level and standard?

Let's look at Singapore in this summit.

It is a small country and yet it won everyone's respect and trust. This is a big achievement for such a small country. Even someone like US President Trump, he trusts Singapore enough to fly there to meet Kim Jong-un.

North Korea is a communist country, that does not trust many countries, and Kim Jong-un is willing to fly to Singapore and he even went for a night tour. He couldn't resist even though he's worried about his safety.

Male host: He's taking Singapore as a template for economic growth.

Wang: Yes, and Singapore is an attentive host. Their foreign minister accompanied Kim all the way. Although I don't know if Kim Jong-un had a good look because he was surrounded by his bodyguards.

So you can see that Singapore is very thorough in everything they do. Look at the 2,000+ media personnel in the media centre, their planning and even served their signature dishes.

And to accommodate both sides, they even designed a fan for the media kit. One side was (printed with the image of) Trump and the other side was Kim Jong-un.

The fan in question. Photo by Tan Guan Zhen

Every detail shows they are attentive, respectful to both countries and accommodating. They spent NT$450 million and Lee Hsien Loong said it was worth spending the money.

His reply was that the summit was more important. Look at that level compared to our Premier William Lai who was asking people to eat bananas! Such a huge difference!

It shows that you may be a small country, but if you have the right people, with the right magnitude and vision, and being able to win international trust, the country is not small at all.

You are on an equal level with big countries. This is really great.

Critical of current government

However, it should be noted that Wang is from the Kuomingtang, which is the opposition these days.

Her views can also be read as a critique of the current incumbent ruling regime in Taiwan.

So, the reason for even bringing this example up is revealed later in the full video.


How can the video be read

Therefore, Wang's argument in the video can be read as given how Singapore's peaceful relations with all parties of the summit is laudable, the ideology of current Taiwanese president Tsai Ing-Wen is not able to uphold a stable, peaceful relationship with mainland China.

Wang cites previous efforts in doing so under the preceding president Ma Ying-jeou, such as the Ma-Xi meeting that was held in Singapore, as positive examples, and claims that these efforts have been ruined by Tsai's Democratic Progressive Party.

Seems like in praise also lies criticism.

As Singaporeans would understand it here: This is yet another example of how Singapore is used to slap others.

Top image from screenshot via Eunice Chia-Lim's Facebook video