Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Lee of Singapore comments on Taiwan Strait in Der Speigel

Letters from China excerpts Lee Kuan Yew's comments on the Taiwan Strait situation in a recent interview.

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Spiegel: How do you explain that China is spending billions on military modernisation right now?

Lee Kuan Yew: Their modernisation is just a drop in the ocean. Their objective is to raise the level of damage they can deliver to the Americans if they intervene in Taiwan. Their objective is not to defeat the Americans, which they cannot do. They know they will be defeated. They want to weaken the American resolve to intervene. That is their objective, but they do not want to attack Taiwan.

Spiegel: Really? They have just passed the aggressive anti-secession law and a general has threatened to use the nuclear bomb.

Lee Kuan Yew: I think they have put themselves into a position internationally that if Taiwan declares independence, they must react and if Beijing's leadership doesn't, they would be finished, they would be a paper tiger and they know that. So, they passed the anti-secession law to tell the Taiwanese and the Americans and the Japanese, "I do not want to fight, but if you allow Taiwan to go for independence, I will have to fight." I think the anti-secession law is a law to preserve the status quo.

* * *

That's an interesting interpretation of the Anti-succession law......


rmdazwdv said...

Seems to me the PRC has been whipping their population into a patriotic fervor about Taiwan for some time now. Probably to distract them from other internal issues. But now they claim, oh we have to fight or our people would take our jobs away. Instead of all this posturing and charades, why don't they put their effort into modernizing and democratizing; if they catch up to Taiwan we'll consider their proposal. Surely there must be a hidden purpose; an excuse to build up their military, or again, to distract their populace. And, what's Kew's hidden agenda?

Sun Bin said...

full interview here or here .
though the rest is mainly about the mainland.

Lee understood China very well. What they tried to do is to increase the stake and put themselves to such a situation so that (they hope) they do not have to act.