China in Xi’s “New Era”: Singapore and Goliath?

Issue Date April 2018
Volume 29
Issue 2
Page Numbers 76-82
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Since the time of Lee Kuan Yew (1923–2015), Singapore’s leaders have refused to infer, merely from the country’s size and composition, a need to appease the People’s Republic of China (PRC). They have remained averse to the notion that little countries should kowtow to big ones, and they firmly reject the idea that their country is somehow racially embedded in a “greater China” whose roads all lead to Beijing. In recent years, however, the PRC has sought to assert what it views as its natural primacy in the region through a range of tactics that have involved not only traditional “hard” power, but also “soft,” “sharp,” and “sticky” power.