Lee Kuan Yew: China must teach youngsters not to let its might threaten neighbours

*The Star* (Malaysia)

17 May 2005
SHANGHAI, China (AP) – China must teach its young
people not to let the nation’s growing political and
economic might threaten its neighbours, former
Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew said Tuesday.
“China’s young must be made aware of this need to
reassure the world that China will not turn out to be
a disruptive force,” Lee said in a speech at elite
Fudan University.
Lee’s comments were unusually blunt for a visiting
foreign dignitary in China, most of whom avoid
critical statements.
“They have to be imbued with the right values and
attitudes to meet China’s doctrine of peaceful
emergence,” Lee said.
He said young people should be “acutely conscious that
China … has the responsibility and self-interest to
assure its neighbors and the world at large that this
emergence is benign and not a threat but a plus to the
Lee said Chinese authorities should teach young people
about mistakes in its recent past.
He gave no details, but critics say China’s highly
nationalistic education system omits or distorts
portions of history from after the Communists came to
power in 1949.
“It is vital that the younger generation of Chinese
who have only lived through a period of peace and
growth in China and have no experience of China’s
tumultuous past are made aware of the mistakes China
made as a result of hubris and excesses in ideology,”
Lee said.
China’s neighbours are uneasy about soaring Chinese
military spending financed by its surging trade.
Lee was speaking after receiving an honorary doctorate
of law from Fudan, an award that must be approved by
China’s Cabinet.
Lee was Singapore’s prime minister from 1965 to 1990
and remains involved in government, with the Cabinet
post of minister mentor.
In other comments, Lee said China would continue to
strengthen rapidly so long as it avoids a regional
military conflict or a revolution overthrowing its
government, he said.
Then there’s this from Xinhua:
17 May 2005
Fudan University confers Lee Kuan Yew Honorary
Doctor’s Degree
SHANGHAI, May 17 (Xinhuanet)- China’s Fudan
University here Tuesday conferred Honorary Doctor’s
Degree of Law to Lee Kuan Yew, 82-year-old Singapore
Minister Mentor.
Qin Shaode, Chairman of the School Committee of
Fudan University, said the degree is to mark Lee’s
great contributions to promoting Sino-Singaporean
In his speech, Lee said in the next 30 years, the
rise of China and India will shift the world’s center
from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific and Indian
“China’s revival requires not only economic
advancement, but also the increase of soft power, such
as culture and art. Shanghai will possibly become
China’s soft power center,” he said.
Born in 1923, Lee Kuan Yew was Prime Minister of
the Singapore Republic from 1965 to 1990. He has
served as the Minister Mentor of the Singapore Cabinet
since January 1997.
Fudan University is one of China’s top
universities that have maintained close exchanges with
Singapore academic circle. Fudan University and the
National University of Singapore have established
strategic partnership and students and teachers
exchange program.


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