SINGAPORE, July 19 (Xinhua) -- The allegations by a U.S. foundation's report accusing China of exerting influence on Chinese Singaporeans, which was carried by a Singaporean newspaper, are groundless and distorted from truth, the spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy in Singapore said here Friday.
In a statement posted on the Chinese embassy's website and Facebook account, the spokesperson refuted the allegations in the article titled "Report flags how China conducts influence operations in Singapore," which was published by the Straits Times on Thursday.
The story cited a recent report by the American Jamestown Foundation, which claims that China applies the united front approach and exerts influence on Chinese Singaporeans through different channels such as the business associations, Chinese clan associations, cultural organizations and the Chinese-language media in Singapore.
The unique connections in history and culture between China and Singapore, a natural advantage in promoting bilateral cooperation, "are unfortunately taken by someone as an excuse for attack, thus hurting not only China but also Singapore," the spokesperson said.
This report is absurd, but the purpose is clear, said the spokesperson, adding that the purpose is to alienate the friendship of the two peoples and hinder normal exchanges between the two countries.
The exchanges and cooperation between China and Singapore in various fields, including economy, trade and people-to-people ties, "reflect the amicable relations" between the two countries and are attributed to the joint efforts by the two governments and all sectors of societies, said the spokesperson.
In terms of the development of China-Singapore relations, a healthy social and public opinion environment is essential. "It is our common aspiration and shared responsibility of all, including the media," the spokesperson said.
"Singapore is a friendly neighbor of China. We are pleased to see Singapore's achievements of exchanges and cooperation with all countries. We respect Singapore as a multi-cultural and multi-religious state and will remain committed to developing friendly relations with Singapore on the basis of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit. This serves the fundamental and long-term interests of the two countries and their peoples," the spokesperson added.