Sunday, August 21, 2005

Lee Kwan Yew on the rise of China

Here's a link to a brilliant interview with Lee Kwan Yew, former Singapore Prime Minister and current elder statesman, on the implications of China's economic and military rise.

Having lived in Singapore, I have enormous admiration for this man. He demonstrated the difference that the right leadership makes to the future of a country. In 1960 Singapore and the Philippines (where I have also lived) were at a similar level of development. Though the Philippines was the country with the natural resources, half a century later it is Singapore that has joined the first world while the Philippines languishes in corruption, poverty and disorder. Lovely people but a completely disfunctional country.

Mr Lee differs fundamentally from the standard politician in that he tells his people what they need to hear, not what they want to hear. That approach has served his country extremely well.

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