China and the US have settled the seizure of a maritime drone, but Beijing’s wrangle with Singapore over troop carriers held by Hong Kong drags on. The Chinese ministry of defence said on Monday there was no progress to report. Hong Kong customs discovered the “Terrex” infantry carrier vehicles aboard a civilian cargo ship going from Taiwan to Singapore on November 23 and impounded them. No formal reason has been given, but sources have said the shipping company lacked the required permits. The vehicles were used as part of a military training exercise in Taiwan, under a defence cooperation agreement with Singapore. No formal reasons yet for seizure of military vehicles in Hong Kong, Singapore’s defence ministry says After the seizure, Beijing said any diplomatic contact between a country and Taiwan violated the one-China principle. Watch: What’s going on with the Singaporean military vehicles seized in Hong Kong Song Zhongping, a military commentator for Phoenix TV, said the impasse might have been overcome already if Singapore had offered reassurances it abided by the one-China principle. China and the US came to an understanding over the maritime drone more quickly because their navies had established communication channels, Song said. The PLA snatched the US drone while it was operating in international waters less than 100km from the Philippines, citing concerns over maritime navigational safety concerns. The defence ministry said yesterday it had been returned to the US. China hands back US drone but regional tensions expected to linger Song said the Chinese side had made clear that any close-in reconnaissance or military surveys in waters China claimed would again be stopped. “Upon all these conditions [being met] the US drone was returned. But as for the Singaporeans, the door of communication has been open all the time but they still haven’t made the call,” Song said. Inside the Terrex military vehicle at the centre of Singapore-China storm Hoo Tiang Boon, a foreign affairs expert at Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Nanyang Technological University, said the US drone case was slightly different, in that the technology involved was largely civilian and the incident occurred in international waters. Returning military vehicles would involve a complicated legal process. Hoo said a stand-off in 2010 involving a South Korean armoured vehicle in Hong Kong took 51 days to resolve. “We haven’t heard much about [the latest case] recently. I believe there are talks behind the scene,” Hoo said.