After revisiting the reasons for China’s once intense interest in Singapore in terms of its project of “authoritarian modernism”, this chapter discusses the loss of interest in the Singapore model. One reason for this is Xi Jinping’s fundamental reorientation of Chinese policy away from calibrated political reforms and a cautious foreign policy to a greater emphasis on the distinctiveness and success of China’s own developmental strategy. This has been accompanied by ramped up nationalist appeals and a more assertive stance internationally, particularly towards countries China perceived within its sphere of influence in the region. Foreign lessons have thus been dismissed as alien to the Chinese context as the government has embraced a much more repressive form of governance and abandoned institutional innovations that had been introduced under Deng Xiaoping, such as the much-praised term limits and the collective leadership. But the chapter also points out that because Chinese observers have long misunderstood fundamental institutional differences between China and Singapore meaningful “lesson learning” has always been limited.
|Title of host publication
|China’s 'Singapore Model' and Authoritarian Learning
|Stephan ORTMANN, Mark R. THOMPSON
|Number of pages
|Published - Mar 2020
|Routledge/City University of Hong Kong Southeast Asia Studies