The year 2015 marks the 25th anniversary of Sino-Singapore diplomatic relations and partnerships. Collaborations between China and Singapore have grown tremendously over the years. As China continues to grow its economic power and global influence, what are the lessons it can learn from Singapore, which has become China’s top foreign direct investor despite its small physical size, with some US$7.33 billion invested in China in 2013?
The Xinhuanet “Thinker” Global Forum launched at Singapore Management University (SMU) in February 2015 marked the 25th Anniversary of Sino-Singapore Diplomatic Relations and discussed economic cooperation and opportunities. Associate Professor Henry Gao from SMU’s School of Law was a panellist at this Forum. He is also Advisory Board Member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Chairs Programme, WTO Secretariat. The Programme promotes WTO-related teaching, research and outreach activities in developing countries. As the only non-governmental board member from Asia, he was invited to join the Board in 2009 and has played a key role in helping the WTO select the Chair-holders and review their performances. His appointment on the Board was renewed for another four-year term in 2014.
In 2014, Professor Gregory Shaffer, Vice President of American Society of International Law, invited Associate Professor Gao to jointly conduct a study on the development of trade law capacity in China for the Globalisation Lawyers and Emerging Economies (GLEE) Project, a major research project at Harvard Law School. In June 2014, Professor Shaffer and Associate Professor Gao were also invited by former Chinese WTO Ambassador Sun Zhenyu to give a special seminar in Beijing on the topic for senior trade officials from the Ministry of Commerce and other Ministries in China.
In an article published in a 2010 book by Cambridge University Press (enclosed below), Associate Professor Gao reviewed China's experience in its first decade in the WTO, and argued that China has evolved from a passive “taker” of the existing rules to one that “shakes” the rules for its own interests and sometimes even tries to “make” new rules.
In this podcast, Associate Professor Gao analyses the economic and political aspects that China can learn from Singapore. He elaborates on three main areas – anti-corruption, economic development, and diplomacy.