“I think China’s circumstances are very different from ours. Your scale is much different from ours. I mean, we are the equivalent of one small city. Even Shanghai has 20 million people, four, five times the size of Singapore. So what we do in Singapore is not so easy to do all over China. I once had a discussion with a vice mayor in Shanghai, and he said to me, ‘You pay your ministers well, and your civil servants well, properly. And if we were Shanghai, all by ourselves, we could do that also. But if I did that, people to the west of me would have a view, people to the north of me would have a view, the people to the south of me would have a view, the people in the center would have a view. So it is not so easy for me to move, and it’s a real problem, it’s a different situation.’”
–Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong, the world’s highest paid politician, in an interview with Caixin discussing what China can learn from Singapore’s style of governance.