Lee Kuan Yew: China Wants to be a Global Power, not an Honorary Member of the West


Every country and every people want to be powerful, respected, recognized, and prestigious. But it depend on the capacity and conditions of how they do it. These are the main factors of Chinese ambition to be the global leader such the historical, cultural and political idea of China as the Middle Kingdom and its prestige of wisdom and splendid in the past, the painful of humiliation period, and its 1.3 billion of human capital as well as the sense of pursuing progress.

When Lee was asked “will China accept its place within the postwar order that was created by the US? Lee replied “No. It is China’s intention to become the greatest power in the world—and to be accepted as China, not as an honorary member of the West”. It is clear that China is now working in the international system that is designed by the US, but China needs the equal position to share her ideas, and reform the world order. Lee said “Unlike other emergent countries, China wants to be China and accepted as such, not as an honorary member of the West.

The Chinese will want to share this century as co-equals with the United States. China is an old civilization and will not easily change because of external pressure or sanctions. But changes will come when their leaders, thinkers, and intellectuals become convinced on their own that adopting certain attributes and features of other societies will benefit China”. China is always uphold her stand, political ideas of Marxism, the pragmatism of economic method, and alongside with her concept of virtuous or humane authority.  Lee even went on to warn that “The other problem is a more crucial one: if you start off with the belief that the world has been unkind to you, the world has exploited you, the imperialists have devastated you, looted Beijing, done all this to you — this is not good.”.

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