chapter  7
24 Pages

Taiwan: Changing Dynamics

WithEdwin A. Winckler

This chapter aims to use developments on Taiwan from mid-1988 through mid-1991 to identify some of those changes, organizing the relevant dynamics by sector and by level. Around 1990, politically Taiwan turned the corner toward pragmatic diplomacy, constitutional leadership, and popular sovereignty. Economically, Taiwan began globalizing its economy, moving exports away from North America and production away from Taiwan. Geopolitical adversity was the driving force behind Taiwan's postwar development. Politically most significant, Taiwan resumed participation in the Asian Development Bank. Strong personal leadership and secretive decision making were hallmarks of the postwar Nationalist party-state on Taiwan. Postwar Taiwan was an authoritarian regime in which the state exchanged economic opportunity for political conformity. Postwar Taiwan has had a triangular economic relationship with the United States and Japan. In Asia, Taiwan devised a new strategy for penetrating the finicky and protected Japanese market, teaming up with European companies to produce the high-end goods that Japanese demand.