Censored memoirs of Lee Kuan Yew go on sale
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The heavily censored memoirs of Lee Kuan Yew have gone on sale in China, with all changes having been approved by the Singapore elder statesman, it was reported yesterday.
Mr Lee agreed to changes to the text of From Third World to First, which describes the development of Singapore from independence in 1965 to last year, the Straits Times said.
Guo Jiexin, president of the mainland co-publisher Foreign Language Press, told the daily paper: 'We have made some cuts but have not added anything to the China edition. The changes were approved by Senior Minister Lee.'
The book, launched in China on Friday, has been shorn of almost all references to Mr Lee's contacts with China's leadership, both when he was the city-state's prime minister and after 1990 when Senior Minister.
Six entire chapters were dropped, including material discussing political change in China from the 1970s to the 90s, corruption, the Tiananmen Square massacre and economic policy. A chapter outlining the demise of communist influence in Singapore also fell foul of the mainland's censors.
Minor editing was also made to the retained chapters, including amendments to the political titles of Taiwan's leaders.
When a Chinese-language version of the book was released in Singapore it ran to 799 pages with 43 chapters. After censorship for the China market, the book contains 656 pages spread across 37 chapters.
Among the missing material, Mr Lee - regarded as one of Asia's most incisive and controversial foreign policy experts - describes the late patriarch Deng Xiaoping as the most impressive leader he has met.
Mr Lee's first volume of memoirs - The Singapore Story - was also released in China but was far less heavily censored.
Over the years, Mr Lee has frequently sought to convey to the West the world view of Beijing's leaders, especially over issues of contention such as Taiwan.
During a recent visit, Politburo member Li Changchun praised Singapore, which has been run by the People's Action Party since self-government was granted in 1959, saying the two parties could learn from each other's strong points.