Willy Lam, China expert, discussed how Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew influenced China.
“Starting with Deng Xiaoping, Chinese leaders [were] quite frank about the fact that there are many things they can learn from Singapore,” said Willy Lam, an expert in Chinese elite politics and senior fellow at the Jamestown Foundation, a Washington-based think tank.
Such lessons include Singapore’s model of rapid economic development paired with tight political controls, along with Mr. Lee’s appeal to Confucianism and so-called “Asian values,” which he used to justify curbs on civil liberties and his rejection of Western-style liberal democracy.
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Dr Willy Lam
With more than 30 years of experience in writing and researching about China, Willy Wo-Lap LAM is a recognized authority on areas including the Chinese Communist Party, public administration, foreign policy, the People’s Liberation Army, as well as the country’s economic and political reform. Dr Lam has worked in senior editorial positions in international media including Asiaweek newsmagazine, South China Morning Post, and the Asia-Pacific Headquarters of CNN.
Since early 2005, Dr Lam has been a Professor of China Studies at Akita International University, Japan (www.aiu.ac.jp). He is also an Adjunct Professor at Chinese University of Hong Kong (History Department & Master of Global Political Economy Program); and a Senior Fellow at Jamestown Foundation (www.jamestown.org), a leading foreign-policy think tank in Washington D.C.
Willy’s views on China are frequently sought by global media including CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera, ABC, Bloomberg, Voice of America, and other major publications and electronic media. He has been awarded visiting fellowships by institutions including Columbia University, Washington University at St. Louis (U.S.), Nottingham University (Britain), and Murdoch University (Australia.)