------------ ¶16. (C) MM Lee said China is following an approach consistent with ideas in the Chinese
television series “The Rise of Great Powers.” The mistake of Germany and Japan had been
their effort to challenge the existing order. The Chinese are not stupid; they have avoided
this mistake. China’s economy has surpassed other countries, with the exceptions of Japan
and the United States. Even with those two countries, the gap is closing, with China growing
at seven-nine percent annually, versus two-three percent in the United States and Japan.
Overall GDP, not GDP per capita, is what matters in terms of power. China has four times
the population of the United States. China is active in Latin America, Africa, and in
the Gulf. Within hours, everything that is discussed in ASEAN meetings is known in
Beijing, given China’s close ties with Laos, Cambodia, and Burma, he stated.
¶17. (C) MM Lee said China will not reach the American level in terms of military capabilities
any time soon, but is rapidly developing asymmetrical means to deter U.S. military power.
China understands that its growth depends on imports, including energy, raw materials, and
food. This is why China is working with South Africa on the China-Africa Development Fund.
China also needs open sea lanes. Beijing is worried about its dependence on the Strait of
Malacca and is moving to ease the dependence by means like a pipeline through Burma.