The Taiwanese Development Model Since 1960
According to Thomas Gold Taiwan offers a text book case of an elite-led revolution leading to social transformation. The stability of hard authoritarianism of the Taiwanese government laid the groundwork for Taiwanese development. The KMT's cohesiveness and political domination plus the economic development aid supplied by the United States also helped to provide good conditions for Taiwanese growth in the beginning. Once the KMT gained control of Taiwan they redistributed the land and launched a program of rehabilitation and industrialization. This period was responsible for the nationalization of many businesses formerly owned by the Japanese and the start of industrial production in Taiwan marked by a shift away from agriculture to industry. During the early period of industrialization Taiwan tried to create domestic markets for its goods. During the period from 1960 to 1973 Taiwan pursued export expansion in the area of industrial goods. During this period U.S. aid directed at Taiwan declined as did the islands geopolitical significance. To make up for this decline Taiwan focused on increasing its exports. The growth of the Taiwanese economy during this period according to Gold laid the ground work for the growth of opposition movements and loosening of the KMT"S grip on power. According to Gold this was because the changes in the Taiwanese economy brought about a middle class, a better educated populace, and a dispersion of industry through out the country. The Period from 1973 to 1984 Gold calls the time of industrial upgrading and the emergence of a political opposition. During this period Taiwan faced the oil shock, and increase in export prices due to a labor shortage that doubled workers salaries, a further loss of geopolitical prestige, and the growth of dissent and political opposition. Taiwan industrially during this time improved the quality and quantity of its exports.
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