|Can Taiwan's Economic Miracle Persevere?
Aside from the economic
considerations, I will discuss some other driving forces
behind the 50 years of economic development starting
in 1949, areas involving changes in the social power
structure, unique ethnic/cultural factors, and domestic
and international events, etc. I have also seen some
red lights signaling troubles to be reckoned with.
In a nutshell, if you
analyze this miracle carefully you will have to come
to the conclusion that it was fraught with many factors
connected with luck, coincidence, even accident which
the Taiwanese people took advantage of to turn in their
favor. Some of these factors came from inside, like
the delicate relations and interaction between the "native
Taiwanese" and the "mainlanders," and the controversial
land reform. Others came from outside international
influences. One thing this miracle was not, it was not
the result of genuine governmental planning or leadership.
This means if a responsible government had thrown in
its fair share of contribution, this historical miracle
would have gone many, many extra miles.
II. HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE
The Popular Belief
Taiwan's economic takeoff
started in the 1960s. This phenomenal success was
widely believed, though not necessarily entirely true,
to have derived from the following causal factors:
|| Successful implementation of
a compulsory education system from six to nine
years. This has helped improve the quality of
Taiwan's labor force tremendously.
||Ten National Projects-in the
'70s the national government moved to establish
basic infrastructure, such as airports, highways,
railroads, seaports, etc., and basic industries
such as steel, petrochemicals, shipbuilding, etc.,
and utilities, to form a foundation for other
industries. The results were mixed and not as
claimed by the government.
||Export-oriented policy-it started
as an import substitution policy to the government's
credit, but the export boom did not come about
via government policy but stemmed from other reasons.