07 April 2015
Lee Kuan Yew has been a towering inspiration for China’s modernisation. His emphasis on stability in governance resonated well in China.
A legendary tale has it that Deng Xiaoping was so astonished by the changes he witnessed on his visit to Singapore in November 1978 that he made up his mind about opening and reforming China by learning from Singapore. In his youth Deng had once made a stopover in Singapore on his sea journey to France. The visual contrast could not have been stronger.
Lee Kuan Yew was the founding father who made possible his country’s transformation. Two years earlier, in 1976, Lee had travelled to China, in spite of the absence of formal diplomatic ties between the two countries. In his life time, Lee made 33 trips to China, each personalising his own commitment to make a positive contribution to China’s pursuit of modernisation.
… Zha Daojiong is Professor of International Political Economy, School of International Studies, Peking University. He was a Visiting Senior Fellow at RSIS in 2009 and 2011. He contributed this specially to RSIS Commentary.
RSIS / Online
Last updated on 08/04/2015