In a political talkshow covering international relations, two China political analysts discussed Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s handling of China’s relationship and criticized him for lacking eloquence and experience unlike his father Lee Kuan Yew.
Below is the transcript between the two analysts:
“The Japanese are like Germans. They were invaders during World War 2 and murdered many Chinese and Koreans. If they have reflected on their past and felt ashamed of their behaviour following an apology, China will have no grounds to keep pursuing for an apology from Japan. If Japan has been apologetic, Lee Hsien Loong can then have the right to tell China not to keep heckling Japan for an apology. However, this is not the case. Lee Hsien Loong appears like he is sucking up to Shinzo Abe and hurt Chinese and Koreans’ feelings. Lee Hsien Loong understands the importance of Sino-Japan relationship and the need to understand the background behind this relationship, but he is inexperienced and not diplomatic enough to handle the territorial disputes unlike his father Lee Kuan Yew.
In the past, his father can be his consultant while Lee Hsien Loong remains as Prime Minister. If Lee Hsien Loong said something wrong, his father can remind him and Lee Hsien Loong will apologize. For example, in July 2015, Lee Hsien Loong hinted China not to adopt a hard line attitude, then right after that comment a month later in August, China’s Foreign Affairs Minister Wang Yi flew to Singapore and reiterated that China do not allow any country to interfere with it’s domestic policies in South China Sea. China is trying to warn Lee Hsien Loong that he should be mindful of his words.
China has been reclaiming land in it’s own territories and there is no issue with South China Sea. The Americans set up an army base in Okinawa but the Japanese residents want them out. Guam is not America, but US insists on having a base there. Why did Lee Hsien Loong keep quiet on these? Lee Hsien Loong is not as tactical as his father and this is Lee Hsien Loong’s crisis, which is why I am worried. His incompetence in handling China’s relationships will affect Singapore’s future negatively.”
“Lee Hsien Loong inherited the government from his father. This second generation government is important but unlike his father, he did not see the hardships of World War 2. Lee Kuan Yew commands respect worldwide and that promoted Singapore’s status. Foreign delegates knew that Lee Kuan Yew has retired in his later years but would still continue to consult his views, and Lee Kuan Yew was able to use his intelligence to tackle the questions. His son however is still lacking in such qualities.”