Not So Surprising Withering Political Commentary from an ‘Ally’ : Be wary of rising China resuming imperial status – Kuan Yew – Thursday, 21 February 2013 08:43 – reposted by M.Murong 24th February 2012
LEE Kuan Yew, the retired Singapore leader who (supposedly) remains hugely influential in Asia, insists in a new book that the US will revive economically and strategically – and he expresses concern about China’s rise.
He says “America’s core interest requires that it remains the superior power” in the region, which is subject to a 21st-century “contest for supremacy” with China. And “America’s creativity, resilience and innovative spirit will allow it to confront its core problems, overcome them, and regain competitiveness”. But its “Asia pivot” points to policy problems, he says in Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master’s Insights on China, the United States and the World, a collection of interviews and other material by Graham Allison, Robert Blackwill and Ali Wyne.
Mr Lee, 89, whose son Lee Hsien Loong is the Singapore Prime Minister, says: “If the US wants to substantially affect the strategic evolution of Asia, it cannot come and go.”
The very name China, he says – Middle Kingdom – recalls a region in which it was dominant, “when other states related to them as supplicants to a superior”.
“Will an industrialised and strong China be as benign to Southeast Asia as the US has been since 1945? Singapore is not sure. Neither is Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, The Philippines, Thailand or Vietnam.”
He says “many small and medium countries in Asia are concerned. They are uneasy that China may want to resume the imperial status it had in earlier centuries, and have misgivings as being treated as vassal states”.
“China tells us that countries big or small are equal, that it is not a hegemon,” Mr Lee writes. “But when we do something they do not like, they say you have made 1.3 billion people unhappy. So please know your place.”
He says “the Chinese must avoid the mistakes made by Germany and Japan. Their competition for power, influence and resources led in the last century to two terrible wars. The Russian mistake was that they put so much into military expenditure and so little into civilian technology that their economy collapsed.
“I believe the Chinese leadership has learned that if you compete with America in armaments, you will lose. You will bankrupt yourself. So keep your head down, and smile for 40 or 50 years.”
He anticipates that “China will inevitably catch up to the US in absolute gross domestic product. But its creativity may never match America’s because its culture does not permit a free exchange and contest of ideas”.
China is not going to become a liberal democracy, he says. “If it did, it would collapse. If you believe there is going to be a revolution of some sort in China for democracy, you are wrong.” To achieve modernisation, he says, “China’s communist leaders are prepared to try every method except for democracy with one person and one vote in a multi-party system.” For the party believes it needs a monopoly on power for stability. It fears a loss of control by the centre over the provinces.
Mr Lee says of the new Chinese leader Xi Jinping: “He is reserved – not in the sense that he will not talk to you but in the sense that he will not betray his likes and dislikes. There is always a pleasant smile on his face, whether or not you have said something that annoyed him. He has iron in his soul.”
ICCR Notes :
Another Grandmaster of politics that declined to be named (we’ll call him X here, being full aware that current trends against free speech regarding have not yet been accepted even among academics decades younger and would provoke negative responses from as he succintly put ‘thronging political monkeys and bureaucratic dogs guarding their corrupted leader’s dinner table for scraps‘.
As he wishes to retire in peace, he has decided to remain annonymous at least until the prevailing academic and bureaucratic culture changes). Grand Master X hails from the PRC but who is long retired and decades older than LKY, claims to have tutored Lee in early politics but gave up in disgust when Lee was in strong opinion considered to be found colluding with the Malay government during Singapore’s secession so that Lee and Mahathir could collude and profit off fear and apartheid, rather than equal and free nationhood for citizens.
Grandmaster X in the early 1990s stopped communication with Lee but has decided to set the record straight. ‘Kuan Yew made a deal with Malay Sultans and surrounded himself with anti-China and anti-PRC elements. He claims that North Korea at least has a reason to indulge in nepotism being beset by the West and the UN, but Singapore being a mainstream country protected bu West and UN has no excuses, and that China’s democracy is superior to Singapore’s dictatorship.
This former PRC academic (who modestly claims links to the Qing Imperial Court though as a mere clerk) retired after a 20 year stint in academia in the 1970s specifically so that his 19070s graduates would ‘have a chance to be academics, earn salaries, afford families live in dignity in their youth and retire early than watch an aged man pontificate from a post they so badly need while they have nothing until ‘the old man dies’. Grandmaster X attributes his longevity with his willingness to step aside, is very pleased with China’s term limits for President and Prime Minister, declaring that the same term limts need to be applied to all government posts, so that wealth and political power distribution can occur. Grandmaster X’s proteges in fact retired in the 90s after 20 year careers presumably for the same reason, to allow others to have a chance to get ahead – ‘There is nothing worse than an aged bureaucrat or academic on state salary while young academics languish jobless and in debt.’ the Grandmaster ranted.
‘Lee is a puppet of the West and has been involved in much cruelty and ill treatment of Singaporeans considered not on his political side for decades rather than protecting democracy. Do not trust the man who decides a tiny snot of an island like Singapore has any leader that deserves 10 times what the President of the USA gets in salaries.’
Grandmaster X’s ID card states he was born in 1881, but as there are no formal records till 1949 we cannot be certain. Birth certificates in the region only started to be kept after the 1949 Communist takeover. All he has is a faded copy of his identity card as shown in this video from 2011. The Grandmaster appears to have a very good memory and apart from being a minor functionary at the end of the Qing Empire, is one of the few surviving participants of the Boxer Rebellion and the Long March as well as being present at the formation of the UN albeit as a mere observer with an invitation at that time. Grandmaster looks forward to his 150th birthday and as he said ‘Who knows, the young Chinese people might actually have a real ethnic Han Emperor again someday (the last was during the Ming Dynasty 1644) and Lee Kuan Yew being so dismissive of China and disrespectful of Imperial culture despite being Chinese, certainly does not deserve to be around to see that! Minister Mentor almost sounds like a Confucius and this Kuan Yew shows that in wisdom Kuan Yew is but a little boy when talking like that while receiving such unreasonable salaries and attacking Fatherland China!”
The rest of the this interview will be released at a later date.
Part 1 of Grandmaster X’s Interview brought to ICCR by Murong Ancestral Hall and Mausoleum Network Foundation, and the Khanates Association (in formation)