Lee Kuan Yew and his Chinese connections

Lee Kuan Yew and his Chinese connections
Singapore's Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew speaks to the audience during the Arab and Asian dialogue in Singapore April 27, 2007.

Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore's former Prime Minister, is one of the few world leaders who have met with China's five top leaders. Lee has visited China as many as 33 times since his first visit in 1976.

Lee is acclaimed as the "founder of close Sino-Singapore relations" by present Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who is also Lee's oldest son.

Major meetings with Chinese leaders

1976 - Mao Zedong met with Lee in Beijing

1978 - Deng Xiaoping visited Singapore and had a meeting with Lee

1988 - Deng Xiaoping met with Lee during Lee's visit in Beijing

2000 - Zhu Rongji met with Lee in Singapore during the China-ASEAN leaders' meeting

2002 - Jiang Zemin met with Lee in Beijing

2004 - Hu Jintao, Wen Jiabao met with Lee in Beijing

2010 - Xi Jinping visited Singapore and had a meeting with Lee

2011 - Xi Jinping met with Lee in Beijing

Lee Kuan Yew on Xi Jinping

"He is a thoughtful man who has gone through many hardships. I would put him in the same league as Nelson Mandel. They all have strong self-control and won't let individual misfortune affect their judgment."

Lee Kuan Yew on Deng Xiaoping

"Deng Xiaoping impressed me most among the world leaders I ever met. Though not tall, he has a towering personality."

Deng Xiaoping on Lee

"During my visit, I was surprised by the achievements Singapore has made. It is right for Singapore to carry out policy of opening-up and introduction of foreign investment."

China's Fudan University in Shanghai conferred Honorary Doctor's Degree of Law to the 82-year-old.

In his speech, Lee said in the next 30 years, the rise of China and India will shift the world's centre from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific and Indian Ocean.

"China's revival requires not only economic advancement, but also the increase of soft power, such as culture and art. Shanghai will possibly become China's soft power centre," he said.

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