Lee Kuan Yew and China: A special relationship

Source:Globaltimes.cn Published: 2015/3/31 10:28:42

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                     Chinese Roots

                     Sino-Singapore Relations

Political relations

October 3, 1990China and Singapore established diplomatic relations.
1995The mechanism for consultations was established between the two foreign ministries, and 5 rounds of consultations have been held.

Economic trade relations and economic technological cooperation

1981Each of the two countries opened its commercial representative office in the other country.
1993The two countries signed the Memorandum of Understanding on Economic Cooperation and Promotion of Trade and Investment and established the mechanism for consultations over economy and trade.
Exchanges and cooperation in other areas
1985China and Singapore opened their flight.
1992The two countries signed the Agreement on Scientific and Technological Cooperation Between the Chinese and Singaporean Governments.
1993The Joint Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation was set up.
May 2002The Memorandum of Understanding on High-Tech Cooperation was signed, and it was decided to set up China High-Tech Center in Singapore.
Source: Xinhua News Agency


Beijing News
Lee made painstaking efforts in developing China-Singapore relations. However, Lee also hopes the US can counterbalance China’s rise and convince nations such as Japan and India to remain vigilant.

In some respects, Lee’s China policy is based on his concept of “balanced diplomacy.” Lee ideally expects Singapore to gain advantages from both sides, but due to the complexity of international politics, that remains to be seen. 

As Chinese, the reason why we care about Lee so much is not only because of the economic and social achievements he made for Singapore, but also his almost half-century relationship with China. A successful pragmatist, he has been an old friend of three generations of Chinese leaders. Among the three great statesmen he admires most, Deng Xiaoping ranks second (the others being Charles de Gaulle and Winston Churchill). In fact, his philosophy on governance has had a great influence on China’s development over the past 30 years. 

Xinhua News Agency
How do we understand Lee’s different speeches and Singapore’s domestic and foreign policy?

We need first to abandon the idea that those of Chinese descent with black hair and yellow skin are Chinese.

From a strategic perspective, Singapore looking to eke out a meager existence and seek balance among the great powers.

Though China has always advocated peace and positive relations with its neighbors, for small countries in Southeast Asia such as Singapore, China’s rise still bodes uncertainty. 

Fourth, when commenting on Lee’s speeches, we should not overlook his outspoken personality.

Web editors: gelili@globaltimes.com.cn and liyingxa@globaltimes.com.cn
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