For Professionals
9 Nov 2018

“China’s Reform and Opening – Up Since 1978: A Singapore Perspective” Scholars discussed the achievements and challenges the Reform and Opening – Up

Organized by Business China, the China Cultural Centre and Bank of China Singapore Branch, the “China’s Reform and Opening – Up Since 1978: A Singapore Perspective” seminar series was inaugurated on 24 October 2018, at the China Cultural Centre in Singapore. The first seminar attracted more than 200 representatives from Singapore and China’s business and academic sectors, and clan associations, response was overwhelming.

The second seminar of “China’s Reform and Opening – Up Since 1978: A Singapore Perspective” was held on 9 November 2018, at the China Cultural Centre in Singapore. This seminar again attracted more than 200 representatives from Singapore and China’s business and academic sectors, and clan associations.

Three highly regarded scholars– Dr Li Mingjiang, Associate Professor at S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University; Dr Zhou Zhaocheng, President of Jiangsu Association(Singapore), Adjunct Associate Professor at Nanyang Centre for Public Administration, Nanyang Technological University; Associate Professor Gu Qingyang, Deputy Director(MPAM), Director(Chinese Executive Education) at Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore – were invited to share their insights at the seminar.

In his presentation “40 Years of China's Reform and Opening-up: Achievements and Challenges”, Dr Li Mingjiang reviewed the evolution of China's foreign policy in the last 40 years. He pointed out that China's foreign policy in the past 40 years has served more for China's domestic development, which effectively promoted China's economy and supported China's peaceful rise. He noted that China foreign policy is currently at a crossroad, and the success of Chinese diplomacy depends on how it can help China to becoming a leading country in the global and international arena in the future.

Dr Zhou Zhaocheng discussed the special relations between China and Singapore in the 40 years of reform and opening-up from political, economic and cultural perspectives. From political perspective, Singapore has established a special relation with China since Lee Kuan Yew time, and China also regarded Singapore as an "old friend." China has also shown interest in Singapore’s management and bureaucratic systems which NUS and NTU are now providing executive training programmes to Chinese officials and professionals. On the other hand, the three Government-to-Government flagship projects and the seven Provincial Business Councils between China and Singapore fully demonstrate the close economic ties between the two countries. In terms of culture, Zhou believes that China’s 40 years of reform and opening-up is also the years of Singapore’s founding and development, which after years of evolution, the Singapore Chinese community has developed its own unique Singaporean values, social ethos and characteristics.

Professor Gu Qingyang remarked that the achievements of China's 40 years of reform and opening- up are great miracles in human history. The Singapore model has contributed greatly in this process as China used to take inspiration from the Singapore model especially in the aspects of economic building and social governance. Nevertheless, China should not blindly copy the Singapore model, but modify it while taking local conditions into consideration.

After delivering their keynote speeches, the three speakers had a round-table discussion followed by a Q&A session to express their views on the topics of Sino-Singapore relations and Sino-US trade war. 

The last seminar for the “China’s Reform and Opening – Up Since 1978: A Singapore Perspective” Seminar Series will be held on 1 December 2018.