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The “Singapore Fever” in China: Policy Mobility and Mutation

  • Kean Fan Lim (a1) and Niv Horesh (a2)

The “Singapore model” constitutes only the second explicit attempt by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to learn from a foreign country following Mao Zedong's pledge to contour “China's tomorrow” on the Soviet Union experience during the early 1950s. This paper critically evaluates policy transfers from Singapore to China in the post-Mao era. It re-examines how this Sino-Singaporean regulatory engagement came about historically following Deng Xiaoping's visit to Singapore in 1978, and offers a careful re-reading of the degree to which actual policy borrowing by China could transcend different state ideologies, abstract ideas and subjective attitudes. Particular focus is placed on the effects of CCP cadre training in Singaporean universities and policy mutation within two government-to-government projects, namely the Suzhou Industrial Park and the Tianjin Eco-City. The paper concludes that the “Singapore model,” as applied in post-Mao China, casts institutional reforms as an open-ended process of policy experimentation and adaptation that is fraught with tension and resistance.

“新加坡模式”是 1950 年代早期毛泽东誓言以苏联经验塑造 “中国的明天” 后中国共产党第二次明确表明学习的外国对象。本文评价后毛时代中国对新加坡经验的学习和政策的传送。著者重新审视邓小平 1978 年到访新加坡后中国在监管领域上借鉴新加坡经验的历史起源, 而重新诠释新加坡对中国实际的政策传送可否跨越意识形态, 抽象理念和主观态度的差异。本文仔细分析新加坡大学培训对中共党员回国后的影响和中新政府在苏州和天津合作项目中的政策传送和突变。分析结果显示 “新加坡模式” 应用于后毛时代中国反映了中共制度改革上的开放性和实验性, 也凸现改革过程中的张力和阻力。

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