SINGAPORE: Bold Experiment

In the boldest of all its colonial experiments, Britain has conferred autonomy on the famed imperial base of Singapore. The island is as strategically important as ever for Britain's Southeast Asia trade. It is essential to defense of Britain's still far-flung Eastern outposts. Nonetheless, the British government is turning over full powers of internal self-government to the island's inhabitants, four-fifths of whom are Chinese and therefore bound by ties of blood and language, at least, to the giant Communist Chinese republic to the north. In the old days only British subjects—which automatically included everyone born in Singapore—could cast a...

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