This paper calls into question the widely held view that the “Singapore model” enjoyed immediate popularity following Deng Xiaoping’s state visit to the city-state in 1978. It instead argues that it was only starting from 1992 that the city-state was “singled out” as a reference for China’s reform and opening-up process. In the initial phase of the reform, 1978–1992, officials and academics in post-communist China referred to an array of foreign “models” for its transformation with Singapore only one among many (although frequently praised by the paramount leader Deng Xiaoping). But China caught “Singapore fever” only following Deng’s “Southern Tour” in 1992. Rather than seeing the “Singapore model” as dominant during China’s post-Maoist transitions, this chapter, taking an historical and empirical approach, found that even with Deng’s support, it played a rather limited role in the pre-1992 era, and this limitation was largely conditioned by the political situation in China before 1992.
|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