According to news sources, Minister Mentor, Lee Kuan Yew, claimed that although China as an emerging world power should be included in financial recovery plans, the country lacks critical knowledge about how the world financial system, which is largely American and British, has evolved over the centuries. He told a dialogue session held in conjunction with the 30th anniversary of China’s move to reform and open up to the world:
“The Chinese have learnt, read up history, ... but to know the intricacies of the system, that’s a different matter, and I think it will be a very difficult business to try and reframe our financial system anew.”
The general consensus is that China should continue to tap into its vast talent pool to progress in areas such as research and development, as well as developing innovations in all areas. In comparison with Singapore’s wealth of talent, Lee said:
“We are looking for diamonds on the seashore and they’ve got diamonds all over. The Chinese were right in not following the Japanese and Koreans in blocking out imports and trying to build champions for their motorcars or TV screens and instead welcoming foreign companies. They copied the Singapore model. Bring all the multi-nationals and let them compete among themselves.”
China’s ambassador to Singapore, Zhang Xiaokang, praised Mr. Lee as the “founding father” of bilateral ties. He stressed that China must direct its energies to improving in the area of innovation, just as the Japanese did with Walkman music players and cameras.
Will China lead the way for financial innovations?
Maybe, but probably not without a little help from her friends.