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Excerpt: "Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master’s Insights on China, the United States, and the World"

Excerpt: "Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master’s Insights on China, the United States, and the World"

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Published by Sam Gale Rosen
Excerpt: "Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master’s Insights on China, the United States, and the World"
Excerpt: "Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master’s Insights on China, the United States, and the World"

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Published by: Sam Gale Rosen on Feb 13, 2013
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05/14/2014

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C H A P T E R 1
The Future of China
A
re Chinese leaders seriousabout displacing the United States as the number 1 power inAsia? In the world? What does number 1 mean? How willChina’s behavior toward other countries change if China be-comes the dominant Asian power? What is China’s strategyfor becoming number 1? What are the major hurdles in exe-cuting that strategy? How much urgency do China’s leadersfeel about achieving primacy in their region and beyond?How do China’s leaders see the U.S. role in Asia changingas China becomes number 1? Is the double-digit growththat China has maintained over three decades likely to con-tinue for the next several decades? Will China become a de-mocracy? Will China actually become number 1? Hoshould one assess Xi Jinping? These questions are central tothe likely course of Asian and world history. Lee Kuan Yew’s
 
thoughtful answers in this chapter reºect decades of observ-ing and analyzing China and its leaders.
 Are Chinese leaders serious about displacing the United States as thenumber 1 power in Asia? In the world?
Of course. Why not? They have transformed a poor society by aneconomic miracle to become now the second-largest economyin the world—on track, as Goldman Sachs has predicted, to be-come the world’s largest economy in the next 20 years. They havefollowedtheAmericanleadinputtingpeopleinspaceandshootingdownsatelliteswithmissiles.Theirsisaculture4,000yearsoldwith1.3 billion people, many of great talent—a huge and very talentedpool to draw from. How could they not aspire to be number 1 inAsia, and in time the world?
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Today, China is the world’s fastest developing nation, growingat rates unimaginable 50 years ago, a dramatic transformation noone predicted. . . . The Chinese people have raised their expecta-tions and aspirations. Every Chinese wants a strong and rich China,anationasprosperous,advanced,andtechnologicallycompetentasAmerica, Europe, and Japan. This reawakened sense of destinyis an overpowering force.
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Lee Kuan Yew 
 
The Chinese will want to share this century as co-equals withthe U.S.
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It is China’s intention to be the greatest power in the world.The policies of all governments toward China, especially neighbor-ing countries, have already taken this into account. These govern-ments are repositioning themselves because they know that there will be consequences if they thwart China when its core interestsare at stake. China can impose economic sanctions simply by deny-ing access to its market of 1.3 billion people, whose incomes andpurchasing power are increasing.
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Unlike other emergent countries, China wants to be China andaccepted as such, not as an honorary member of the West.
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What does number 1 mean? How will China’s behavior toward other countries change if China becomes the dominant Asian power?
At the core of their mindset is their world before colonization andthe exploitation and humiliation that brought. In Chinese, Chinameans “Middle Kingdom”—recalling a world in which they weredominant in the region, other states related to them as supplicantsto a superior, and vassals came to Beijing bearing tribute: for exam-ple, the sultan of Brunei, who carried silk as his offering, but whodied there four centuries ago and now has a shrine in Beijing.
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Will an industrialized and strong China be as benign toSoutheast Asia as the United States has been since 1945? Singaporeis not sure. Neither are Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines,
The Future of China 
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