The origins of the "Singapore fever" in China : 1978–92


Research output: Book Chapters | Papers in Conference ProceedingsBook ChapterResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


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.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationChina’s 'Singapore Model' and Authoritarian Learning
EditorsStephan ORTMANN, Mark R. THOMPSON
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9780429425554
ISBN (Print)9781138388390
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameRoutledge/City University of Hong Kong Southeast Asia Studies


Dive into the research topics of 'The origins of the "Singapore fever" in China : 1978–92'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this