China To Maintain 8 Percent GDP Growth
WisdomMountain | June 10, 2009 at 11:37 amby
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Expressing confidence of China's drive to lead in global economic revival,Singapore Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew stressed that China has the capacity to achieve its economic growth target.
Lee told a chief executive forum at the 65th International Air Transport Association (IATA) Annual General Meeting in Kuala Lumpur on Monday that with its huge foreign reserves,China is on track to play its role to spur global economic recovery.
Recalling his recent visits to booming cities like Shanghai and Nanjing in China, Lee noted that the Chinese are forward-looking and very confident of a bright future - far from any depression.
Lee,85,known for his shrewd reading of economic trends,also shared his view on the global aviation industry as it faces its worst crisis.
He foresees the future Atlantic-Pacific aviation shift from the Atlantic to the Pacific in tandem with the inexorable shift of global economic activity to the Pacific.
IATA honored Lee Kuan Yew,the first Prime Minister of Singapore, with its prestigious
third Global Aviation Leadership Award(GALA) for his oustanding contributions.
It paid tribute to Lee,praising him for his unique vision and leadership in founding one of the industry's strongest airlines(Singapore Airlines) and one of the world's most efficient airports(Changi Airport).
IATA director-general and ceo Giovanni Bisignani said Lee was ahead of his time in his commitment to air services liberalisation and free market principles in the running of airlines as early as 1972, the year Singapore Airlines took flight.
Thanking IATA for the special recognition,Lee said one of the key factors for Singapore's successful development into a cosmopolitan city-state was its advanced,liberalised and competitive aviation industry.
He shared the experience of establishing Singapore Airlines and Changi Airport.
He also stressed that Singapore's clean and safe environment plus the convenience of its efficient air transport had attracted professionals worldwide to make Singapore their new home.
Taking advantage of his appearance in the IATA World Transport Summit in Kuala Lumpur,Lee,who is Singapore's first Prime Minister re-elected consistently from 1959 until he stepped down in 1990, has taken a trip down memory lane by making an official eight-day visit to Malaysia.
Yesterday, he had an audience with Malaysia's King Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin at the National Palace at 3 p.m.
He also met three UMNO Vice Presidents - new Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, new Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and new Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal.
On Tuesday,He had a four-eyes meeting with Malaysia's new Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in Putrajaya.
He visited new Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin in Perdana Putra Building in Putrajaya.
He had earlier touched base with leaders of the Malaysian Chinese Association(MCA) led by its President Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat,who is Malaysia's Transport Minister, at his presidential suite in Mandarin Oriental to exchange views on education,economics and problems and issues affecting the Malaysian Chinese community.Among the MCA leaders were MCA vice-president
Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai,MCa Youth chief Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong,MCA Women chief Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun and MCA secretary-general Datuk Wong Foon Meng.
He also called on the Negri Sembilan Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan in Seremban,where he briefly stopped over at the sessions court in Jalan Campbell to recollect his days as a young lawyer.
"Nostalgic return after 60 years," Lee,who oversaw the separation of Singapore from Malaysia in 1965, wrote in the visitors' book at the Mentri Besar's residence.
Singapore was one of the founding members of Malaysia when it was formed on 16 September,1963.
But the inclusion of Singapore's Chinese majority,Lee's strong personality and the People Action Party(PAP)'s strength as a multi-racial political party in Malaysia worried Malaysia's federal government led by the United Malays National Organization(UMNO).
Lee openly opposed the bumiputra policy and used the Malaysia Solidarity Convention's famous cry of "Malaysian Malaysia" to enunciate the message to build a new nation for all Malaysians instead of just the Malay race.
Some UMNO leaders wanted Lee to be arrested for his activist stance in the strained PAP-UMNO relations.
Subsequently, racial riots broke out on Muhammad's birthday (July 21,1964) near Kallang Gasworks followed by more riots in September 1964.
Malaysia's first Prime Minister Tuanku Abdul Rahman expelled Singapore from Malaysia. Lee had to eat humble pie signing the separation agreement on August 7,1965.
On August 9,1965, Lee broke down as he announced the separation in a televised press conference,giving birth to Singapore as an independent sovereign city-state.
Since then,Singapore, despite its small population,land area and lack of natural reources,has developed swiftly into a modern First World nation.
Lee Kuan Yew has written two sets of memoirs entitled: "The Singapore Story" and"From Third World to First" to give an account of Singapore's transformation into a developed nation.
Singapore will celebrate 50 years of self-government this year as its first local government was set up on June 5,1959.
Lee's visit is an immediate follow-up to build bilateral ties with Malaysia to reciprocate Malaysia's new Premier Datuk Seri Najib Razak's recent visit to Singapore since Najib Ascension to his position as Malaysia's top leader on April 3.
Lee will also visit Perak,Penang,Kelantan,Pahang and have an audience with Perak Sultan Azlan Shah and call on controversial Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr. Zambry Adbul Kadir.
This special visit to Malaysia by an elder statesman,accompanied by key Singaporean Cabinet Ministers, is considered a vital step to promote more cordial and closer Malaysia-Singapore relations.
Singapore Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam,Education Minister Dr Ng Eng Hen,Acting Information,Communications and Arts Minister Lui Tuck Yew and senior parliamentary secretary for Education and Home Affairs Masagos Zulkifli are among the Singaporean leaders in Lee's delegation.
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