Singapore, China, and the "Soft Authoritarian" Challenge Author(s): Denny Roy Source: Asian Survey, Vol. 34, No.

3 (Mar., 1994), pp. 231-242 Published by: University of California Press Stable URL: . Accessed: 25/04/2011 20:17
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Times.NationalUniversity and departrepresent are Singapore." The resulting than rather persuades is communiauthoritarianism Second.. ChengShoongTat. 231 . (Summer Problem.particularly for and "the left States.CHINA.and wondered ethos."Western NameThan "Give AsianPoliticsa Better December11.p. Jung-en Media's Coverageof Asia is Wide OfftheMark." pp. 24.. 1991. 9:2 (Spring1992). ? 1994 by The Regents theUniversity California of of 1991). SundayTimes. itwithout language psychology self-assertion" United regionalperspective." liberal to petitor Western a it First. or the means of expressing distinctive discourse. has tarianism twodistinguishing that authoritarianism with"a kindof paternalistic economicsystem oriented liberal is regime economically coerces. of values that revealsthe influence Confucian Here softauthoritarianism as and state. The answer com"potential popular as modelof "softauthoritarianism"an increasingly authoriof s Fukuyama'rendering soft democracy." Quarterly. 20. 8:3 World PolicyJournal. combines marketcharacteristics.AND THE "SOFT SINGAPORE.even amongAsians themlanguageto capture there be a political can "whether selves. FrancisFukuyama. 457. theneedsof society a whole a but order.. overpersonal of in Denny Roy is Lecturer PoliticalScience.pp.complained East Asia's domination theWest. CHALLENGE AUTHORITARIAN" ___________ Denny Roy in Woo."2 interests individual to conformity group emphasizingn] tarian. 1992." Woo.soft quasi-authoritarian." "a Instead. Western-derived dominated assumptions thatWestern lamented OtherAsian commentators of and perceptions discussions Asian politics.p. Democracy. butpolitically over rights. "East Asia's America 1." is discourse thehegemonic free-market "liberal. writing Jung-en University's Northwestern the by that 1991. 472. Asad Latif. Straits May 10.The viewsexpressed solelytheauthor's do notnecessarily or mental University opinion. Are Asianscapable of proof theuniqueness theAsianpolitical languageand ideology?"' vidingthatalternative Scalapino's sees Robert Fukuyama Francis mayhavearrived. 60-61." Perspectives "Asia's Soft-Authoritarian 2. strong moral champion on and freedoms limitations government. New Alternative.

1991. MARCH1994 NO. of proponents Confucian-style thestrongest will examine model. challenge The soft authoritarian that with scholarship. with in maysignala majorchange theWest'srelationship East Asia.p.XXXIV. Orimuch liketheWest'straditional begins. adding ting. Quoted in GaryRodan. a framework politfor this arguethat modeloffers better Asianproponents with consistent Asia's circumand development.says Lee. theirabsence. Lee andnowSeniorMinister KuanYew whospeaksof "corecultural whichif lost will lowerour perculture thosedynamic partsof Confucian formance. Prime Minister suchas former to say successlargely itsAsianroots. and merDeputy too attention family relationships to their and paying little drugtaking." forundesirable acteristics. of Singapore'sArticulationSoft Authoritarianism . than Western stances. 21. "By "we mean Ong Prime Minister nowPresident TengCheong. caricatures negative piety. 1992). thepremise Asia and theWestare fundamenentalist the the But tallydifferent. officials values. adverse.we shouldbe that "whilst and rights worthwhile democracy human the Lee is clearthatthereal objective good government. Prime preconditions." identifies socioand levels as of stability adequate economic prerequisites democracy political But of education economic and development. influence Western of said culture. For one thing. "ChineseCulture 11. sexual promiscuity laziness roundout the list of in owes its criticized. ASIANSURVEY. Western concepts from political As Western valuesdiffer in it is argued." SundayTimes. the meanswithends. 24:1 (January-March Rule?" Bulletin Concerned of Authoritarian withtheGenerations. One of which is government Singapore. chastity.contrasting with "Western" charand of selflessness. one more ical andeconomic legitimacy growing Softauthoritarianism's liberalism. their interest notpayand their on butstressing individualism. 3."3 addition those ing muchimportance social or national and by mentioned Ong. filial favorable Other. thistimeAsia turns tablesby making West its "Asian" traitssuch as industriousness. Westconfuses are ideas. "Western" traits mostcommonly Singapore. mostof theworldlacksthese In producesonly chaos."Singapore'sLeadership AsianScholars. 10.August OutsideChinaChanging 4.4 Asianvalues. This article softauthoritarian closelyfitsFukuyama's its of to liberalism-including defense China challenge Western Singapore's to an for liberalization-in attempt underoutside demands political against of soft and standthenature implications Confucian authoritarianism.democracy but American well-intentioned "ignorant Minister Goh ChokTong chastises of Erosionor Refinement Transition: 3.232 VOL. notnecessarily are appropriate an Asian setand institutions. emphasis personal In to to interest.p.

which says are caused chiefly a system he thatgrants by of at ''excessiverights the individual the expenseof the community a as in whole."SundayTimes. 22. 31.withthe absenceof effective in drugtesting the UnitedStates. and nomicand socialprogress a political social system is consonant and that withthevaluesand traditions their of society.p. Ambassador Chan NICs. of the of even in theWestitself. of seriousunemployment and economic crisis. thecommunity's interests have been sacrificed because of thedrugtraffickers drugconsumers.p.N. 1988. . Times. for whentheShahfacedinternal pressure reform. 14. 3. for of "instead leaving himto deal with situation the firmly. p." These "irrelevant American ideas andcultural valuesworsened [Iran's]upheavals. saysSingaporean political the ecoHeng Chee. model The state softauthoritarian is the Asian newlyindustrializing These country. 21. These are Singapore's newspapers.sec. "Be Prepared Intervene to Directly. and In Singapore the but portrays Westas a place withdemocracy without good government. SundayTimes. 5.combinesthebestof boththeWestern Asianpolitical and traditions." theAmericans forced him"to introduce IranAmerican in democratic ideals of power-sharing electedrepresentative and government. May 28. 6. two mostwidely-read bothconand June1..In Iran."7 short.DENNY ROY 233 who have created officials" political"disasters" pressuring by ThirdWorld to governments liberalize. November 1992. Straits Times. dubious.5 Fromthe standpoint the softauthoritarians. According theSundayTimes.p. 20. "WhatComes First?" SundayTimes. 1988.a member Singapore's of ruling People's Action Party (PAP). 7. trolled thegovernment."Singapore a Role Model."8 November 1992." softauthoritarianism. 1992. 3.p." he writes. by "To with walkthestreets reasonable is safety themost basic ofcivilliberties. fruits democracy.judgestheUnited States itsownstandards. 8.S. example. are to these include"chaos. 22. Chan Heng Chee. whichhe attributes a misguided to obsessionwithprotecting privacy the of individuals. In everyAmerican pupilsare asscarcely by city saulteddailyand somekilled. officials or this from Singapore distinguish Western "liberal"democracy "Asiandemocracy. 7. 22. 21."So in theU. their or The in view.sec. eventuand to ally contributed the overthrow the Shah" and the ascension of of Khomeini. latter." HengChiangMeng. by As 6.. p. April12. Cao Yunhua. which policeand officers authorized subject are to immigration any"suspicious" persons a to urinetest."6Lee Kuan Yew also laments in conditions theUnitedStates. unequaldistribution wealth. November 1992.. scientist former and U." He contrasts Singapore's drugtesting program." Straits Times. Straits November 1992. "Yet millionsof Americans dare not step out at nightand some dareto venture day.pp. "have produced good life and a wholesome society. 30-31.

ajunzi." Straits Times.. "watchdogs. . VOL."WhyWe Had No Choice But to React.S.theargument liberal goes."ISA Has HelpedMake S'pore a Safe Society. Mason Hendrickson. to the Confucian with U." Goh contrasts .... 15.XXXIV. by Goh. against (the deniedanywrongdoing Hendrickson).is "one reasonwhyourstreets safeandjoggersarenotsubject mugging.p. 1988 theSingapore accusedan American government E. in socialturmoil prevalent theWest. Ong Ming Seing. committed thepublicgood. 1988. Prime MinisterGoh Chok Tong envisions "the ideal politicalleaderas a Confucian whois upright.June1.One-party consistently popular rule is also justified thehighpremium by placedon political as stability. is perpetually dominant. system institutional the of approach limitations leadon Freeman ership quoting by Dyson: "The American Constitution designed is to be operated crooks.." Softauthoritarian the by governments require press The media'sroleis "to inform to be deferential. May 28. Every must find ownbalance its society between societaland individual interests. Thirty of up years ofbonding building nation and a wouldcometo naught.thendeputy prime minister. Prime Deputy Minister (and sonofLee KuanYew) Lee HsienLoong. Singapore's In party. is One such"tradition" thepremise order prosperity incompatthat and are of ible with highdegree personal a hencetheeconomic declineand freedom.S. Says BG Lee.234 ASIANSURVEY." putsit thisway: "So whatif a few laws are slightly irritating? is a bitirritating use condoms butdoes one wantto get It to too AIDS?"9 Rulersare expected exercisetheir to broadpowerswithmoralrectitude. of diplomat. case. 24. critics its whilethegovernment theruling say thePAP oppresses opposition. 2.. 10. "Do We WantS'poreorSome Other Place?"Straits Times. a recent incident In illustrates.aremoreinclined than Westerners acceptconstraints on to in individual rights exchange stability economic for and in growth society as a whole.p. The quoteon themedia'sroleis from Prime Deputy Minister HsienLoongin "Media's Role Lee 'To Inform People of GovtPolicies."Goh reasoned that 9. .10 Another characteristic soft of authoritarian is a systems that single political suchas thePAP." not peopleof thanto question government policies"rather thesepolicies. gentleman. MARCH1994 NO. May 18. 21. Goh ChokTong.p. 1989. 1988. June16. of are The Confucian origins thisprinciple explicitly recognized. 3."in ibid. someone morally beyond reproach. someone people can trust . this. only Blue Singaporean. activities to threatened "set in motion train arguedthatHendrickson's a of which events could. says maintains broad-based party a mandate. break thecohesion oursociety."' Straits Times(overseasedition). An illustration thistradeoff Singapore's of is Internal Security Act. which provides arrest indefinite for and incarceration without says trial." are to The author a letter theeditor theStraits of to of identified as "TrueTimes. 1990. Confucian East Asians.p. encouraging local lawyers runfor to office PAP candidates thenextgeneral in political elections U.

p. of theFounding thePeople's Republicof China."By the that but are free elections a necessary not of liberals. multiethnic ThirdWorldcountries"1 1-i.Singapore's culture. Tan Sai Siong.language.Without to temis required maintain in wouldbe no stability saysLi Peng."If thishappens. culture. Chan. course. liberalism. through China still underits control)primarily in ways to the and China have responded similar Singapore Nevertheless. with will becomecontentious "politics made it intoParliament. 6.p." A Renmin peoplewillbecomedisunited party. for condition democracy. Like their values: "We mustconstantly of the affirm superiority Asian overWestern of politics. "WhyWe Had No Choice."13 China's traditional whichcompletely rejects nihilism national claimsa single-party systhe Like thePAP leadership. not will ensure thegovernment be "careful to abuseourpowers. concepts philosophy. a sufficient cannot univerbe of standards thelate20thcentury or "American European sal. In theSingaporean says Lee."SundayTimes. whichSingapore freeperiodicelections. 21." Sunday is "WhatComes First?"p. . of number opposition-party if a substantial "professionals. holds.e. of standards Western But thePAP wouldbe quickto add. appealing gutfeelings each group saysGoh. in trying do so.p. countants" to to and for vying power.." ChinaReport. 1991.DENNY ROY 235 [and]aclawyers. Lee KuanYew.29 September March1990. 30. 12. Model-Mr Lee. 11. soft is If Singapore theprototype authoritarian Chinamust classedas ecomarket has The soft an aspiring authoritarian. 2. "WhySingapore China's Favourite August11.butit rules(in thosepartsof communitarian nomicsand Confucian coercion. November 1992. These elections.May 16. Straits it mentDependson theSupport Receives. Times. Beijingregime embraced values. . challengeof Western Chineseleaders counterparts. 14. Beijinggovernment leader"upholding and stability unity. 107.not persuasion. Once again. allies in a rhetorical They are."ChinaReport."at thesame time"combating ideology journalism.thecountry be divided. "Without by leadership the[communist] and construction economic will of like grains sand. 1993."there Party.theminimum used. 21."p. April-June at WorkReport NPC Session. 2." shipby theCommunist adds: Ribao commentator of or our country unity the people. Western the of and literature art. in effect. are The answer dependson whosecriteria democratic? Is sucha system is of qualification a democracy view.p. sec."Good GovernTimes. Singaporean battlewiththeWest. "Li PengDeliversGovernment of of in Zemin'sSpeech at theMeeting Celebration the40thAnniversary 1990. "Jiang January1989. and "we shall end up like many societywill becomedivided. 13. p. Goh. of race."12 be state.the general is and in interest stability prosperity overriding. poor and chaotic. religion. Alliance A Rhetorical . 211. capitalist resistand criticise .

"BeijingReview. XXXIV.In thecase of Tibet. Western and backhistorical traditions cultural levels of economicdevelopment. that A statement Party Jiang by Secretary order economic and well-being. andreligious ofBeijing'sreforms." the of "suffered unbearable from tem"in which majority thepopulation politand economicexploitation mental enslavement. 1993." adds: "For a country over 1. "New Historical 14.16 the the against In thecase of Tiananmen. 11-17. it is an arduoustask. 1993." as a But ical oppression." says. In response criticism the of one reflects softauthoritarian emphasis on ception human rights. theunrest givenfree rein. food. Tibetan slaughtered tablishment PLA lootedcultural and relics."Renmin Communist March22-28. and January 1-7.000troops of tionArmy."Nexthe explainsBeijing'sconcept:"to ensure concepts human and acemployment cultural transportation.1 billionpeofor the he assumptions." by to Westerners seeking divideand weakenChina." 190. ple. like the PAP. recent the first of challenges applicability Zeminlays out China's position." In contrast. 22-28.July1. soldiers civilians. 3. "Party Chiefon Seven Hot issues. and so reform opening theoutside and to Besides.236 NO. and informally through Chinaasserts own conits the to from United States. 1992. values to Asian circumstances. CCP claimsit movedresolutely of of from perilsof the the fewinstigators chaos to protect majority society a editorialist "If is wrote Beijing Review disorder. 8. February February 16. VOL." the terminated demonstration. issues overthehuman rights thanthePeople's Liberathe theChinesearguethat Westis farmoreguilty A British invaded Tibetin 1904. of He tivities itspopulation. MARCH1994 worldwill be outof thequestion. clothing. Tibetans freeresult personal today "enjoy issue has been manufactured hostile The Tibetanindependence dom. ASIANSURVEY. and "notonlyruthlessly Chinesehistorians. conrights concludes."15 itself from Western criticism It is from standpoint Chinadefends this that of Tibetand Tiananmen." Without bias of Western "We are making is China's human record admirable. "China will be in beforethe PLA violently of efforts reform thecreation a prosat and turmoil genuine and continuous Missionand the p."14 and and munist Party(CCP). . alreadyclaims a popularmandate the People's Congress (formally through National democratic representation of Mao's principle themass line). they wantonly from local officials in 1951 got"a warm and Lhasa welcome troops entering a serf Before communist the Tibetharbored "feudal sysrevolution. of to the acstant efforts improve quality lifeand have realizeduniversally not achievements which havepromoted stability onlyin Chinabutin claimed Asia and theworldat large. shelter.says Beijing. BeijingReview. Party China. 15."itis natural ChinaandtheUnited he of rights.p. States haveseparate that ground. education. WorkReport.theChineseComwill social stability people's well-being.say esforce 10. people.Jiang "Due to differing social systems. "Li Peng DeliversGovernment of Ribao.

theprevious like will generation. June1991. 8.9.including of children and women?"19Similarly. free etc. reprinted "Anti-China Clamour Cannot Intimidate Chinese People.DENNY ROY 237 perousChinawillcometo nothing. is and China's criticism the UnitedStatesforthe latter's"armedsuppression black of of for people struggling basic human and war rights theanti-Vietnam demonstrations stagedby students" mirrored Singaporean is by who commentators assert "treatment theAmerican of blackcommunity nothing be proud is to of. class boycotts.October9-15.g."says Chan." Straits Times. Says SM Lee. Chan Heng Chee. as 19.PeacefulWorld."DroptheStick.p." Another observed "demonstrations. p."US Will Need China'sHelp to BringAboutStable. the 1989 Tiananmen and demonstrations).is notsurprising theSingapore it that authorities for lackenthusiasm promoting democratic reform China. on theliberal of conseexpectation positive quences."Theyare notclosetdemocrats. January 1993. 4. pressure (1) hypocritical. May 15. democratization. Growwith Chinese. "Push forDemocracyin Asia by Clinton WouldBe a Big Mistake." 21. will nothelpsolveproblems. "Thenewgenerin ationofChineseleaders.p..whichinclude and political stability internally peace in theinterna17.and neither does therestof Asia. Renmin Ribao commentary. July 17-23. "What'sin Storein theNew WorldOrder?" Petir.China's arand In gument thatwhatWesterners a humanrights is call abuse was actuallya human rights victory."BeijingReview."20Given theirown Congressor cancelling viewson good see Westits ernpowersfeeling verycocky. 1993. 20."says Goh with evident stability empathy. shooting innocent ChineseForeign Minister that to Qian Qichen'swarning "no one whoattempts pressure China intochanging social system eversucceed"is seconded Lee Kuan its will by Yew: "You can't changea Chinesecivilisation 4. that protests.thesametwoarguments comefrom bothChina and Singapore:U. You mustbe like us. Thereis a tendency.15.p. Beijing Review. 6. hunger strikes other and forms petition of haveupset social stability. Ibid. 36." Straits Times.000 yearsby an act of of Most FavoredNationstatus. Goh ChokTong. press."'2' American interest China'sdemocratizationbasedlargely thebelief in is on that the Chinese public desires political liberalization (e. and May 9-June 1989.S. p. May 21. 18."'-18 On thehuman rights issue. 1989.p. 21.May 1-7. International the HeraldTribune. (2) ineffective.'Our valuesare superior values. . BothChineseand Singaporeans arguethat United the Statesshouldcease "imposing" valueson China.p. Theydo notwantChinato descendintochaos. "We are constantly challenged by their valueson human rights."17 essence. wanta strong government that can maintain and order. 1989. 1993. arrogance theWestwhich an in says.p. "Today.. 20. 15. Yap Kim Sang. Have theAmericans the of at forgotten shooting students KentStateUniversityand thehuman violations the rights during Vietnam the war. 3.

p. tional environment froma democratic stemming system. Singapore telling United in is the States notonlyto stopcriticizing Chinese. 3. 1993. June 1989. thegovernment under KuanYew wasjustly Lee of proud having transformed a poor. class neo-warlordism. and the Finally. bitter hostile force.Lee encourages West to continue investheavilyin to chauvinistic and China.politically contentious intoa wealthy." Rather. 5.The Singapore does notsharetheseassumptions. to theWestbecauseittried slowdownor abort development. MARCH1994 NO." Singapore's official of the interpretation "socalledpro-democracy movement" Tiananmen in Squareis that was "a batit tle betweensoft authoritarians hard authoritarians."Asia Will Focus on Defenceif US Withdraws. in whichthePAP has succeeded FromSingapore'svantagepoint. city-state enjoysthediplomatic advantage of smallness.e. editorial. however. Straits Times. modern meimmigrant society famousforits orderand cleanliness. "fewChinese intellectuals believe thatChina is readyfordemocracy. 7. Asia's interest soft carry lessonsand implications. 22.Second. a better and life"(i." and The protesters "an and wanted end to inflation corruption. to its All a recommendation Western to morefavorable policymakers toward China have been written theChinesegovernment could scarcely itself."23 told.lestit become"a xenophobic. and Thereare bothcultural realpolitik bases fortherhetorical alliancebeand tweenSingapore China.its defenseof China the Singapore'sbold philosophical from and Western in authoritarianism imcriticism. Singapore favors economic. theyare of "afraid chaos and anarchy. so well). KishoreMahbubani. 1." Straits Times. good and areas government material prosperity. March7.. government.its leaderscan speak boldlywithout causingthe restof the worldto feelthreatened. Culturally.238 ASIANSURVEY. 23.22 Conclusions .p. butnotpolitical liberalization China. 1993. or ethnicconflict. any First. in portant Singapore's outspokenness challenging theWest'spolitical agendamayarisefrom orall ofseveral factors. also to give them economic the but the assistancetheywant.forced in politicalliberalization China mightresultin fractionalization. XXXIV.Like Beijing. societies both sharetheinfluence of The genuineness Singapore'sbeliefin Confucian of politicalphilosophy. a of economic outflow refugees. to According MinAffairs istry Foreign of DeputySecretary Kishore Mahbubani. . Amid worriesabout the consequencesof China's the growing power. other and crisis.." of a SundayTimes.p. May 16. 22. "The Moral Superiority theWest: Just Myth.Lee is by nature tropolis a whorelishes his blunt-speaking politician sharing viewswith foreign governments journalists. VOL. by breakfrom West. massive with problems negfor ativeconsequences Singapore. Han Fook Kwang. .

"EightMPs ExpressDismay. powerand influence Asia and elsewhere." might from erateanyinterference anyforeign PAP Parliamentarian of outof Beijingin thesummer 1989. investing government withstrong for in township 600.This is of hegemon thepromotion a particular reigning the for and cultural.academia. May 9.the hegemon to ernments behave in accordance influits discourse through disproportionate international dominates political them infusing organizations. it loses prestige its dominance thechannels discourse a contenders theeyes of rising seeking modelforsuccess. Chineseand Singaporean as must also be understood a reaction rhetoric authoritarian The riseof soft in to the recession U. Considerthe following country tolcan No is "US interferenceunpardonable.billedas "a mini-Singapore China. liberalization. pressure againsta common cooperating liberalizeexistsin Singaporeas well as Beijing. . Amongtheprivileges politicalideology.S. the perspective. it bothsupports hegemon's exerciseis at once political the among and control theinternational of system reflects values dominant govto empowered coerceother thehegemonic people.S. Singapore Confucian heavilyin the PRC. hegemony why.000 to agreed principle buildan entire recently Singapore in people in Suzhou. as U." soft "strength legitimacy growing observes. The perception U. ence in themedia." 24. The fearof losingcontrol between united front agendaand a basis fora rhetorical theWest'spolitical politicians.S. is assumptions backedup by itsstakein China. 12. Finally. 1988. sovereign statement: havecome This government. particularly of starsin thetwilight America's rising themselves have reasonto consider Straits Times.butit is actually cases. Fukuyama The perception eroding of helpsexplain is and daily.DENNY ROY 239 firms. a hegemon in and of of weakens. it powerin bilateral as declines.and international try would-be mayvoluntarily the hegemons with hegemon's agenda.strong to episode. PAP and the CCP may be Froma moreMachiavellian to of enemy. The East Asian states. authoritarianism's Confucian thosewitha strong heritage. similar results. p.24In both Lau Teik Soon's reaction theHendrickson of effect an is to reaction pressure understandable: obviousand immediate would be to jeopardizethe rulingparty'slock on politicalliberalization botha rationale rejecting for thus provides power. thebestway to do it. loses coercive versely.The of declinein has declineof globalAmerican hegemony causeda corresponding overknowlideas. are encouragement. Politicalpowerand control of American thehegemony historically enjoyedby the edge are closelylinked. Uniquely country's also withits own values." The government sees and theseinvestments evidently continued wantsto protect presumably as not authoritarianism. and Outrage Disappointment.Conin country hopesof obtaining to emulate dominant the relations.

July13. 6. and and studiedthroughout world. ofEast Asia for most remainedunderdeveloped.p. Chinaand theASEANStates: The EthnicChineseDimension (Singapore: Singapore University Press. horrified saddened"by the Chinese government's and and the behavior. In thepast. '22. 1992. becomethehegemonic discourse. These successes. arguments Their wouldnothave carried same force theearlypostwar the in yearswhenthe United Statesaccounted halfoftheworld'sproduction. practitioners Asianphilosophy thriving. Singapore tried has to avoidtheimpression an alliancewith communist of the Chinese. Straits June 1989.240 ASIANSURVEY. Times. VOL.andwillsidewith China. Times Straits condemned truculence old menunwilling unableto "the of and even themerest hintof a threat their to irongripon thecouncontemplate Yet try. issueilluminatesconsensus Southeast a in Asia.boastsGoh. uncertainty theminds ASEAN members because is therefore Singapore 75% ethnic can Chinese.the embodiment liberalphilosophy. China. maintaining throughout 1980s thatit would establish the relations with diplomatic the ASEAN states so (Singapore did Beijingonlyafter other the recognized in Beijinggovernment 1990). power." International Herald Tribune. 26. 1989."26 thepolitical liberalization issuefinds not Singapore only"siding 25. example.China and Singapore particular in have reasonto be "feeling very cocky"because they have achievedsignificant successwithout political the liberalization itsattendant (and dangers) has accompanied that economic dynamismin othercountries the regionsuch as Japan. . for After Tiananmen. MARCH1994 NO.1985).XXXIV. power.exonerate "Asian" of the model and embolden of proponents softauthoritarianism. an Now. 1.withitshugepopulation rapiddevelopment.Singapore.Lee said he was "shocked. 112. June5. possibly soft including authoriwill tarianism. and Taiwan."25 East Asia becomesthe new center world of East Asiandiscourse. of declines.p." Consequently.p.First. Singapore be easilymanipulatedbyChina. Lee Kuan Yew has frankly that"thereis always thatlurking recognized in of doubt. Michael Richardson.Westerners who admire Asia's economic dynamism beginning study "are to Confucianism as a rival ideologyto Western If liberalism. Leo Suryadinata. a candiand is dateforsuperpower status. between Cooperation and the Singapore Chinain promoting soft authoritarianagendahas important for implications boththeregion therestofthe and the world. and editorial. While the West. in SouthKorea. Asia has modernized a of are East at remarkable andcontinues lead theworld'sregions rateofeconomic rate to in growth. Singaporean for support Chinahas notbeen unconditional. many WesternscholarsconsideredConand fucianism obstacleto modernization. 3. admired the combinedwiththe apparent failures the West.p. "East Asia SpurnsWest's Cultural Model. that suspicion. although smallto everbe a major too player world in sees itself a modelofnation-building efficient as politics. government. 1.

On this issue.political analysts Even in thepost-Cold in of by dichotomy speaking the"lastholdouts" Asia: China. globalideological of the andChinasuggests formation a new." "The Beijing-Tokyo 29. terly. libentrepreneurial has.and moreimportantly. 27."Unlimited p. Despitethenewassertiveness soft for is support the model in is uncertain.p. have to choose our party causingchaos in our party heldin BangA on rights above democracy. aid in factor Japan'sforeign programs. that has the however. and Indonesia.DENNY ROY 241 againstthe United partner with China" but actingas Beijing's debating defend Chineseauthoritarianism feelsfreeto openly States.(Vietnam Myanmar also be added forgood measure. Malaysia'sPrime has that critic theliberalagenda. Thailand. "If by practising we and and country. by G-7 countries its unmanyin theother disappointed liberaldemocracy." Country: for Dangerous Multi-Racial Freedom Hassan. and may is China's fight also muchof ASEAN's fight. eralism notproved future itslong-term of authoritarianism. anmar. 1993. ThatSingapore indicatessupportamong its SoutheastAsian neighbors.homosexuality."28 conference human country from the revealed similar sentiments Myamongdelegates kokduring spring homeofAsia's oldest EvenJapan. Woo. SundayTimes. thanwithNorth Korea. Asiancommunism close to extinction. Kalimullah May 30 1993. example." 459. theerosionof thetraditional in countries. Problem. "Mahathir Mahathir.drugabuse." structure Western family we aspectsof democracy runtheriskof certain he says. p. Vietnam. What withSingapore soon have morein common "hard"authoritarian part the separates softauthoritarian of East Asia from for has its The former "traded political rights the Korea is capitalism. one hand. or will Chinaperhaps ing undertheauspicesof softauthoritarianism. 1. Japanesegovernment suggested Winter1992. may considerations becomea stronger human rights . Recently." Cautions Against 28. QuarNew Perspectives Axis Against HumanRights. 32.there considerable On for Mahathir Minister Mohamad.) Singapore the alliancebetween Second. North statessuch as China and "Communist" irrelevant. China. "East Asia's America May 31. Business BeingSlaves ofDemocracy.But theriseof softauthoritarianism and Vietnam. Times. "Let us notbe slavesto democracy. to aid. rhetorical divide."27 to If is but freedom. Earlyin his sanctions to against post-Tiananmen willingness maintain an KiichiMiyazawasaid he opposed"applying abPrimeMinister tenure. muchof Asia. capitalism has triumphant. Lin Binyan. North nor Koreanspresently have neither political North right makemoney."29 of rights foreign stract yardstick human p. increasingly dichotomy and states suchas Singapore Malaysiaare convergand Vietnam "capitalist" has.perhaps the often perpetuate capitalWarera. ist/communist makesthis Korea. 18.asserting democracy abetted of is a strong and moraldecay.

450-99."EconomicDevelopment Democracy Larry 30. 3." and Diamond. to appeal is notlimited East Asia. model's potential to of his recommended principles "good government" Kuan Yew has already of suchas countries Africa. Review. perhaps of and minds theThird tarianism. And and BothSingaporean Chineseofficials is not authoritarianism self-evident. Lee the Moreover.XXXIV.pp.The idea of regions developing non-Confucian own circumbased on their of styles government alternative choosing states of countries amongdeveloping resentment thewidespread stancestaps into over organizations allegedhuman and states watchdog Western from pressure for communism thehearts oncebattled liberalism abuses. OtherConfucian liberalizagreater toward from authoritarianism soft away Korea are moving powerof soft the proponents.30 analysissuggests opment. "is and ideals of democracy humanrights all a backlashagainstWestern of methods their existing elitesto preserve ruling politicalploy by certain of result conas maygroweither a natural dissent rule. perous economic record outstanding of "consistent Singapore's noting One analyst. 1992."32Such indigenous To downturn." itcurious conof threat subversive imminent as are achievements fragile. "A special correspondent. may Soft nation-states. develto can liberalization be expected followeconomic have said political prosWithitshighly are they right. such as Taiwan and South however. March-June Scientist." Asia & PacificReview1990 (Edison. it maywind as liberalism thenewhegemonic succeedWestern withno appeal outsideof theinsecure heap of history" up on the"rubbish of serves. staying even amongits strongest tion.J. 20. . 1993. VOL. ifit is under couldeasilybe lostin a moment prosperity and spiracy. still "Lee's government actsas ifall these that finds achievement. Hunter. into mutate a harder more against of to stone a form government resilient a stepping be transitory. Reconsidered. as if suchhard-won liberalisation. As Western rights soft with authorinowcontend itmust World. For example. silence of or tinued prosperity as a consequence an economic or liberalize further regimemusteither thesevoices." 1990). The fortunes parties it politicalpartieswhose interests directly suchas thePAP and theCCP will dependon theoutcome. MichaelVatikiotis Robert June17.242 NO. 201.: 31.Scholarly for liberalization long. Divide.soft Either authoritarianism.the softauthoritarian may authoritarianism way."Far EasternEconomic Delfs. maynotbe able to resist Singapore economy.N. Behavioral American in "Singapore.p.p. authoritarianism yet facedby modern thepressures or discourse."Cultural and 32."31 of carelesspolitical presmeetsimilar but to Chinafacesa longjourney prosperity willlikely voices in ASEAN alreadysay the Asian Some dissident sureseventually. MARCH1994 ASIANSURVEY. East Asian states.

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