Much of the interview touches on topics that would fit better in the “international politics” forum. But the first two pages speak specifically to Chinese issues, and I imagine that makes it an appropriate topic for this forum.
Lee’s a remarkable man who has definitely left behind a legacy Asia will remember for a long, long time.
This discussion on Tiananmen is interesting:
TIME: You mentioned 1989, the year of the Tiananmen crackdown. You’ve said that came as an incredible shock to you. Do you think Deng Xiaoping did the right thing?
LEE: I cannot judge what he did, because I did not have his information. If, in fact, there was a danger of similar outbursts in other cities, then I think he had to move. But I said later to [then Premier] Li Peng, “When I had trouble with my sit-in communist students, squatting in school premises and keeping their teachers captive, I cordoned off the whole area around the schools, shut off the water and electricity, and just waited. I told their parents that health conditions were deteriorating, dysentery was going to spread. And they broke it up without any difficulty.” I said to Li Peng, you had the world’s TV cameras there waiting for the meeting with Gorbachev, and you stage this grand show. His answer was: We are completely inexperienced in these matters. [/quote]