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Singapore former PM Lee Kuan Yew passes away

Updated: 2015-03-23 04:47
By Zhang Yunbi (chinadaily.com.cn)

Singapore former PM Lee Kuan Yew passes away

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II shakes hands with then prime minister Lee Kuan Yew as she arrived in Singapore, Feb 18, 1972. [Photo/IC]

Art of diplomacy

Singapore is a small country in both area and population, but it has a unique influence on Asia and even the world, which owes much to its founding father and first prime minister Lee Kuan Yew.

To set foot firmly in the world, Singapore needs to be strong enough. As a tiny country, Singapore cannot compete with big countries in natural resources or military power. So economy is the best way out.

Lee warned the government and the people that they should always have a strong sense of urgency.

Under his leadership, Singapore witnessed the rapid rise and became an economic power in just one generation.

Singapore became an independent country at a time when the cold war was like a raging fire. How to survive among the big powers became a problem for Lee.

Lee is famous for pursuing balanced diplomacy. He once said that if there are two competing big powers in a region, then there is space for small countries to switch sides. He implemented the idea of nonalignment.

Singapore maintains friendly relations with the United States, but does not have formal allies.

He adopted the policy of neutrality and did not easily choose sides. But when the time came, Singapore would have its own voice and make its position clear.

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