China-Singapore relationship changes when Lee Hsien Loong is not LKY

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By: Tan Jee Say

“The bilateral relationship used to be based on private ties between former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping and late Singaporean prime minister Lee Kuan Yew. But nowadays, a simply state-to-state relationship is more feasible.” – Global Times

So said the Global Times, a daily English newspaper under the auspices of the People’s Daily, the official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party.

I made the same point in my Facebook post on 5 December, 3 days earlier, entitled “What’s behind Singapore’s latest run-ins with Beijing” when I wrote “….there has been a big change in Singapore’s circumstance. There is no more LKY. This is important especially to China as she regards personal relationships highly.”

PM Lee Hsien Loong is not Lee Kuan Yew. He should not talk, act or behave as if he is his father and expect the same kind of respect from China or any other country. Singaporeans will not think any less of him if he does not do so. We will still respect him as our prime minister as long as he protects our interest and not put it at risk by antagonizing other countries.