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Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 September, 2004, 12:56 GMT 13:56 UK
Snot flies in Taiwan-Singapore row
Pro-independence supporters march in Taiwan
Singapore is alarmed by the rise of independence forces in Taiwan
Taiwan's foreign minister has sparked a diplomatic row by calling Singapore "the size of a piece of snot".

Chen Tan-sun was angry over comments made by Singapore's foreign minister, George Yeo, who recently said Taiwan should not press for independence.

Mr Chen said: "Even Singapore, a country the size of a piece of snot, can swagger around to criticise Taiwan at the United Nations".

He said Mr Yeo only made the comments to please Taiwan's rival, China.

"It was nothing but an effort to embrace China's 'balls', forgive me using such a word," Mr Chen told supporters on Monday.

Relations between Taiwan and Singapore have been strained since Singapore's new prime minister, Lee Hsien Loong, used a national address in August to say he was alarmed at the build-up in pro-independence forces inside Taiwan.

China views Taiwan as part of its territory, and has threatened to invade if it ever formally declares independence.

Mr Yeo used a speech to the UN's General Assembly to warn about the risks of China-Taiwan tensions.

"The push towards independence by certain groups in Taiwan is the most dangerous, because it will lead to war with mainland China and drag in other countries," he said.




SEE ALSO:
Difficult neighbours
11 Mar 04  |  Asia-Pacific
Singapore 'would not back Taiwan'
22 Aug 04  |  Asia-Pacific
Country profile: Taiwan
10 Aug 04  |  Country profiles


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