“Lee Hsien Loong is not as skilled as LKY” – Chinese state media declares amid PM Lee’s visit to China


As Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong makes his first official visit to China in the last three years, the Global Times – a newspaper with links to the Chinese Communist Party – declared that PM Lee “is not as skilled as his father” in balancing ties with China and the United States of America in an opinion piece that also called Singaporeans insecure:

“Singapore was once called a “little red dot” by former Indonesian president Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie. The term is also adopted by Singaporeans to express their sense of insecurity. It is believed that Singapore has no intention of challenging China and Lee Hsien Loong is just not as skilled as his father in controlling the risks and striking a balance between China and the US.”

Relations between Singapore and China have been fraught with tension in recent years, with the Global Times calling this period the worst in the Sino-Singapore relationship since 2016.

Singapore has been accused of tilting towards Washington in its foreign policy, especially when Singapore sided with Washington and Tokyo during the South China Sea territorial dispute arbitration and when Singapore was the only ASEAN nation to urge all parties to fully respect the tribunal ruling that followed.

Bilateral relations soured even further when a batch of Singapore’s armoured military vehicles were seized in Hong Kong while they were en route from Taiwan and when PM Lee was conspicuously absent from China’s major summit on the “Belt and Road Initiative” – a plan to boost infrastructure and trade links from Asia to Africa in May at Beijing.

However, the news organisation opined that PM Lee’s “surprising” and “unexpected” visit to China in this time, appears to be a bid to adjust its Beijing policy and that Singapore’s decision to rebalance between Beijing and Washington is a welcome one:

“Rebalancing between Beijing and Washington seems to be a new diplomatic design for Singapore. The country has played a positive role in China’s reform and opening up. Despite all the ups and downs, there is reason to be optimistic about the future Sino-Singaporean relationship.”

PM Lee expressed gratefulness for the invitation to make an official visit to China as it prepares for its 19th party congress and reaffirmed Singapore’s longstanding ties with China. He said:

“Our relationship has progressed, our cooperation had broadened and deepened, and there are many more things which we are doing together now.”

The Singapore head of government who has been on a three-day-visit in China since 19 September also paid a generous compliment to the country’s vision for the future and agreed to increase parliamentary exchanges with China.

PM Lee meets Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing

WATCH: Chinese President Xi Jinping welcomes Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. PM Lee is in China for an official three-day visit. Read more: http://bit.ly/2fzOJVR(Video: Mediacorp)

Posted by TODAY on Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Foreign Affairs Minister Vivian Balakrishnan who accompanied PM Lee on his visit also shared that the visit marks a new chapter in the Sino-Singapore relationship:

“These high level interactions are a strong affirmation of the longstanding, substantive and close ties between our two countries. Singapore and China are old friends, and we have been trustworthy and reliable partners over the decades.
“We had good discussions on our bilateral cooperation, including our three Government-to-Government projects.
“We discussed ways to strengthen ASEAN-China relations as we prepare to take over ASEAN Chairmanship next year.
“We also exchanged views on regional developments, and how both sides can do more together for the benefit of our region.”

Pleased to wrap up a fruitful visit to Beijing with PM Lee, Dr Ng Eng Hen, Heng Swee Keat and Chan Chun Sing. We had…

Posted by Vivian Balakrishnan on Wednesday, 20 September 2017


  1. To be fair, you cannot compare LKY-era and current era.
    No doubt LKY is a highly regarded rare extraordinaire with vision to transform our little red dot into a 1st world country within short span of 40 years.
    Back in LKY-era, China is still a 3rd world communist enclosed country and gradually opening up into a developing industrialised country.
    Back then, China sees LKY vision and how much values the way we run our cities..
    Fast forward today, China has become a Super-power probably richer than USA and arguably world leader by wealth.
    It’s super easy for China State papers to comment.. but China is not going to protect us in times of troubles.
    Just look at perfect examples of Japan and South Korea, China kept mum when North Korea shot a missile that flew over Japan.

    • Not just LHL, the entire Govt is missing LKY’s acumen and vision.
      Under current dilemma kinda of circumstances, I feel maybe we should stay Low profile and try to balance on both sides.
      We are just a small nation.. Shouldn’t meddle or even comment on big issues especially when it’s none of our business.

    • So imagine if Lky is still around and healthy, you think he would stubbornly provoke China last year? And you think he would not foresee the rise of Trumpism? Yes, we are dealing with a different China. So, all the more we must adjust our strategies. Flexibility is what Lky was known for. And then why should China feel obliged to help us? It had refrained from pushing communism in SE Asia during the time of Lky. And that was due to its self-interests and pragmatic considerations. Ditto for Singapore in assisting China in its early years of opening up. We acted out of altruism? Don’t be naive. Even the US had its own calculations in pivoting to Asia. You think it just wants to protect democracy and some small state? If the US could talk about its own manifest destiny, why not China? All my comment here might draw slams that I am pro-China and anti-Singapore. If I am so, then Lhl should also be slammed for not persisting in his policy of finding faults with China. instead he expressed gladness at being invited to Beijing. The China era has arrived, like it or not. If Singapore were to bury its head in the sand, we will soon lose out to Malaysia and the Philippines. So, don’t believe all those talk about continuing to speak up to powerful states. You could cane a Michael Fay or evict a Wang Jing. But dare us break or even sour ties with the US and China? Easy to talk big at home in seminars and in books. But even Lky dare not ruin ties with either.

  2. When you give in too much to them by taking a massive load in, they will handle you at their finger tip coz they know you will have to survive on them. Did his old man do the same when he was alive? No, it was purely commercial trading

  3. That’s right, I hope the Chinese would cut him some slack since he is not as skillful and bright as his late father. Even his late father once asked the foreign press to cut his less abled son some slack…

  4. Stating the obvious. ” Not as skilled ” is the understatement of the century. He is only skilled at one thing…. and it has something to do with this personal playground
    As big a joker as the army of puppets you are surrounded by.

  5. Nothing to be ashamed of. He’s learning to be skilful as our PM Lee’s oldér.
    Cheers on for our PM that
    He’ll one day became more skilful than our late MM Lee.
    This has answered those who’s questioned about Agong continued as MM from PM in the past.
    It’s undeniable. Agong continued on as MM for all minister’s mentors, was an accurate decision to pass down Agong’s experiences.

  6. “Our relationship has progressed, our cooperation had broadened and deepened, and there are many more things which we are doing together now.”

    How pedantic with this motherhood statement? Means nothing. Numpty.

  7. He who talks about Swiss standards ( & did not deliver ) knows nothing about it. Where the wind blows, he goes, where the grass is greener, you sees him. A sovereign country even though its a tiny red dot has becomes a vassal state for US, China, India and even North Korea knows when to congratulate Singapore. XiaSuay! PUI!!

  8. LKY dealt with former head Deng. President Xi is radically different from Deng. Xi Strategy and veiled intention appeared different from Deng too. It is not just a matter of skill but also a matter of whether how small Singapore flows strategically with the rising China ‘s dream.

  9. Pls can anyone still believe a load of Crap he say now a days. Only stupid and naive people still believe, after many lies and empty promises he made. Oh still waiting for the abuse of power and. 38, Oxley Rise Saga not yet settled. ‍♂️

  10. You allow the more powerful US military to use your country as a base from which to interfere with CN. At the same time you train your own troops in TWN a country over which CN has repeatedly made clear its sensitivity. If I am CN I would think the 3 of you could be hatching a plan to be used against me sometime

  11. Pay the shit millions of dollars to let him learn how to stand? We are treated like idiots back home and the shit keep getting us into trouble and we have idiots cheering him 活到老学到老?

  12. China has no hesitation to spit in our face. LHL still think they are friends? See what infrastructure they are developing in Malaysia first. China trying to take SG out of business!!!

  13. Totally agreed. Lhl will ruined the relationship because he is not as smart as the father in managing relations ties with Chinese. The father knows how to manage and the Chinese respect for what he has done for Singapore.

  14. Back in that time, old man dun have to worry about mainland because they are not a threat. Not now, the whole Asia have their shares of business or threats from them.

  15. Last night, I watch TEOCHEW Opera Xi Sze, one of the 4 great beauty in ancient China during 500 BC!
    The imperial concubine has great influence on the skills and plans of the king in power!
    The Goh kingdom was finally ruined under the influenctial power of the imperial concubine!
    History always repeat!
    LKY success was because he had a very virtuous and capable wife who did not glorify herself and always respect her husband while helping him to draft his national Day speech
    Behind a great political leader is a virtuous, loving and caring lady!
    The imperial concubine plays a very influential role in the rise and fall of a Dynasty!

  16. Political wayang & catch-up are essential propaganda played by most ASEAN leaders with big brothers like US & China to pro-up their image back home regardless they’re straight, smart or otherwise. Any difference btw LHL and Najib?

  17. How can LHL just depend on the age old use me as your dog trick. China and USA now have direct communications. China has isolated Taiwan. China has infiltrated ASEAN. What can LHL offer? Singapore is almost a vessel state full of PRCs and depends on the business of PRC to live?

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