Singapore’s founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew died Sunday aged 91, The Guardian reported, citing a statement from current prime minister and Lee’s eldest son, Lee Hsien Loong. The elder Lee is widely credited with building Singapore into a wealthy, independent authoritarian state with democratic elements, the success of which has long beguiled officials of the Chinese Communist Party. Skeptical of using the political systems of his own country or the US to govern China, Lee carefully balanced cordial relations with both Washington and Beijing. “He spotted the rise of China before anyone else,” Michael Barr, associate professor of international studies at Flinders University told The Financial Times.
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