Chinese, Russian and Indian leaders have sent condolences to Singapore over the death of iconic leader Lee Kuan Yew.
China has praised Lee as “an Asian statesman of unique influence”.
“He was also a strategist with both Eastern values and international perspective,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said in a statement.
Lee Kuan Yew was an “old friend of the Chinese people” whose death is “a loss to the international community”, said Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday.
Lee, was Xi said, “a strategist and politician respected widely in the international community”.
“Mr Lee Kuan Yew is an old friend of the Chinese people, and founder and mover of Sino-Singapore relationship,” Mr Xi said in a statement posted on the Chinese Foreign Ministry website.
“Mr Lee and China’s older generation of leaders set the correct direction for the development of the bilateral relationship, helped deepen the friendship between our people and made important contributions towards cooperation between the two countries,” the Chinese President added.
In a message of condolence, Russian President Vladimir Putin said “Russia will remember Lee Kuan Yew as a consistent supporter of developing friendly relations between Russia and Singapore”.
“Over his decades of work as Prime Minister and in other high government posts, he earned his compatriots’ sincere love and respect and won the highest international influence,” Putin was quoted by a Kremlin statement.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also condoled the demise of Singapore’s founding father.
“A far-sighted statesman and a lion among leaders, Mr. Lee Kuan Yew’s life teaches valuable lessons to everyone. News of his demise is saddening,” said Modi.
Russia had conferred Yew with the “Order of Honour” for his contributions in strengthening ties between Russia and Singapore.
Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has declared a period of National Mourning from today until Sunday.
Lee Kuan Yew was Singapore’s Prime Minister from 1959 to 1990. He led the nation when the country gained independence in 1965. Under his primership, Singapore developed from a third world country into a global financial centre ranking among the world’s top three in terms of living standards.