From Sweden to Singapore : The Relevance of Foreign Models for China's Rise

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)946-967
Journal / PublicationThe China Quarterly
Online published28 May 2018
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018


China can be described as a “learning state” which has adapted to changing conditions and frequently turned outward for lessons. In recent years, Sweden and Singapore have drawn particularly strong interest from Chinese academics because the two countries represent two different “third ways” between Communism and capitalism and have been useful for developing a socialism “with Chinese characteristics.” Sweden is seen to symbolize the ideals of social equity and harmony while Singapore is seen as a model of authoritarian state-capitalism. China's transformation has resembled the Southeast Asia city state's model more than the Scandinavian social democratic model. Since Xi Jinping assumed power in 2012, interest in Sweden has reached a nadir, while attentiveness to Singapore has peaked. Although Chinese state-capitalism faces many challenges, including rising inequality and persistent corruption, it will be difficult to find an alternative role model that can successfully combine one-party rule with economic modernization.
中國可以被視為一個不斷適應新形勢的 “學習型國家”, 頻繁地學習外部經驗。近年來, 瑞典和新加坡都引起中國學術界的興趣, 因為這兩個國家分別代表兩種區別于共產主義和資本主義的 “第三條道路”, 被認為對 “中國特色” 的社會主義具有啟發意義。瑞典被認為是社會公平與和諧的典範, 而新加坡被視為威權型國家資本主義的模範。相對于斯堪的納維亞式的社會民主模式, 中國的轉型更類似於新加坡這個東南亞城市國家的模式。自從習近平 2012 年上臺以來, 對瑞典的興趣降至低點, 而對新加坡的關注則達到高潮。雖然中國的國家資本主義面臨很多挑戰, 包括貧富分化加劇和腐敗橫行, 目前很難找到一個替代的模式能像新加坡那樣成功地實現一黨政治下的經濟現代化。

Research Area(s)

  • Learning state, Singapore model, socialism with Chinese characteristics, Swedish model, Third Way, 學習型國家, 新加坡模式, 瑞典模式, 中國特色社會主義, 第三條道路