Chun Han Wong and Josh Chin
The Wall Street Journal
24 March 2015
Chinese state media on Monday gave prominent coverage to the death of Singapore’s founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew, whose brand of paternalistic one-party rule has long been a model for Beijing.
“Mr. Lee Kuan Yew was an old friend of the Chinese people,” Chinese President Xi Jinping wrote to Singapore President Tony Tan in a condolence letter Monday, according to a statement from China’s foreign ministry. “Mr. Lee Kuan Yew and the older generation of Chinese leaders jointly set the course for the development of China-Singapore ties.”...
More recently, Singapore’s influence on China has been particularly visible in Beijing’s recent legal reform push, scholars say.
The reforms, outlined by the Communist Party in an ambitious blueprint released last fall, aim to make the country’s courts more independent and credible while ensuring that they continue to cleave to the party’s core interests.
Fu Hualing, a professor of law at the University of Hong Kong, says the likely end-goal is a legal system that is efficient and consistent in settling commercial and personal disputes while bending to Beijing’s whims in politically sensitive cases, such as those dealing with dissidents, corruption or terrorism.