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  • Hello everyone, welcome to Taiwan Bar

  • Today let’s talk about Taiwan’s famous economic miracle

  • Out of many Asian countries

  • Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Korea developed advance economies

  • therefore are called theFour Asian Tigers

  • Although Taiwan is more like a kitten then a tiger now

  • Still, the story of our economic success

  • has more to it than just the well-adopted government policies

  • Many recognize Taiwan as one of the Four Asian Tigers

  • But do not know how the miracle happened

  • In 1945, the Great East Asia War in the Pacific was terminated

  • industrial infrastructure in Taiwan built under Japanese rule

  • like electricity, telecommunication and oil refinery and many more

  • were destroyed by the Allied Forces

  • At the time, Taiwan seemed to have no future

  • and the economy was likeonce a good girl gone bad, she’s gone forever

  • When the ROC government suddenly became an victorious nation and took over Taiwan

  • Taiwan’s economy were then influenced by China

  • and made the Chinese Civil War affect Taiwan

  • Inflation rate, unemployment rate and public discontent rised greatly

  • So How did Taiwan

  • overcome all obstacles and climb its way up?

  • and how did the economic miracle came about?

  • Ahem, let’s begin!

  • In 1949

  • the currency was no difference from monopoly money due to inflation

  • therefore national monetary reform took place

  • 40 thousand Old Taiwan dollar

  • can be exchanged for one New Taiwan Dollar (NTD) that we are still using today

  • The use of NTD pulled us out from the falling economy influenced by China

  • and decreased the damage of inflation

  • but KMT who were in great debt after moving to Taiwan

  • had no extra fund to help Taiwan’s economic to takeoffur nope

  • I mean to revive Taiwan’s economy

  • And just when the government was under the pressure of communism and public discontent and was only planning retaking the Chinese Mainland

  • but had no actual ability to perform the act

  • a war erupted out of the blue and rescued Taiwan’s economy

  • It was Hanja

  • Ahem

  • It was the Korean War... war... warsimida...

  • This North-South simida~ Korean War started fiercely...simida yo~

  • and Mao Zedong, in order to resist U.S. aggression and aid Korea

  • transferred his army that was originally trained to take back Taiwan, to North Korea

  • The US then set up a defense line from South Korea to Malaysia

  • to fight against communism

  • Although Uncle Sam didn’t valued KMT very much

  • but no matter what, Taiwan held a key position to the defense line

  • So Uncle Sam didn’t have much of a choice but to sign the Sino-American Mutual Defense Treaty

  • Afterwards, all kinds of support came from the US

  • which was the so-called US Aid

  • From 1951 to 1965

  • the monetary total of the US Aid was up to 1.5k million USD

  • During the time, everywhere in Taiwan

  • you could see residents lining on the street for supplies

  • and children wearing underwear made from flour bags with the Sino-American labels

  • Aside from daily supplies

  • the US Aid also invested heavily on Taiwan’s agriculture and infrastructure

  • From Shihmen Reservoir, Siluo Bridge to Central Cross-Island Highway

  • are all results of the US Aid

  • In short,

  • the depressed post-war economy

  • was rescued by the US Aid fairy

  • The barely breathing ROC government gradually revived again

  • Besides the US Aid

  • The government also had to do something on their own to save itself

  • In 1949

  • Taiwan Provincial Government carried out land reform

  • hoping to improve farmersliving conditions

  • the 37.5% Arable Rent Reduction Act that restricted the limit of Arable Rent to 37.5%,

  • the Public land release that allowed farmers to own public land

  • and the Land to the tiller act that lets the farmers to keep the land instead of the landlords

  • These reformations changed the fate of farmers and landlords

  • The land reform seemed like a great policy

  • It could bridge the gap between the social classes and save the farmers from suffering

  • but, it also robbed the landlords of their properties

  • The Landlords thought

  • why on earth did the Arable Rent need to be reduced

  • why on earth should my land be taken away

  • why on earth is my land not mine after one night

  • But at that time, Taiwan was in the period of White Terror

  • Governor of Taiwan Province, Chen Cheng once said

  • The 37.5% Arable Rent Reduction Act must be conducted without hesitation.

  • There might be difficulties, since there are always shameless people who will not follow orders,

  • but I believe, there are never people who would put their life at risk.”

  • With just a few words, he frightened landlords to death

  • Even if they weren’t willing to follow, they kept silent and did as told

  • No matter what

  • the monetary and land reform, plus the US Aid

  • gradually revived Taiwan’s economy after the war

  • Cotton yarn sent from the US help developed the textile industry

  • Wheat sent from the US help developed the food industry

  • And because of the US aid

  • Taiwan was able to make noodles, breads and doughnuts

  • Taiwanese who used to take rice as our staple food

  • gradually accepted noodles and other flour-made food under promotion of the government

  • Daily necessities that used to rely entirely on imports

  • now could be produced and replaced imports

  • this is the stage called the Import Substitution Period

  • Until 1960s

  • The US Aid ended

  • Besides being a cry baby,

  • Taiwan had to think of new methods to help the economy

  • Like the Export Processing Zone set up at that time

  • and the Investment Incentive Act, carried out by the government

  • were all method that were hoping to encourage investments and replace the US Aid

  • The Investment Incentive Act allowed many companies and investors to enjoy tax reduction

  • But did these profits made from companies really benefit Taiwan?

  • And did these profits go into the pockets of big enterprises or regular citizens?

  • Under the assistant of the government, many private companies began to thrive

  • and those who originally sold rice or done logging became CEOs

  • In short

  • Taiwan’s economy turned export orientation

  • GNI, GDP increased substantially

  • What an amazing government that rescued the society, right?

  • But

  • Exporting won’t work just by planning

  • we need to have customers as well

  • Luckily, Taiwan caught up with the International division train

  • and replaced Japan who was moving on to the next economic stage

  • and became the OEM of industrial products

  • That’s why Taiwan started to sell sell sell, and foreigners got to buy buy buy

  • Wait a sec! There’s something to be clarified

  • Speaking of the Ten Major Constructions Projects

  • people seem to consider them the representative of Taiwan’s economic miracle, don’t they?

  • This large-scale of post-war public constructions

  • of course contributed greatly to the livelihood economics

  • especially to land and air transportation

  • For example the North Link Line connected the east and the west, reducing travel time

  • and the Formosa Freeway, though criticized that it was built for the rich

  • turned into the transportation lifeline of Taiwan

  • not to mention the largest airport in Taiwan, Taoyuan International Airport

  • was off to a flying start and to a flying end….ur nope

  • Takeoffs are still happening each day

  • But honestly, some constructions used to be useful

  • and some aren’t equally useful nowadays

  • like the Port of Taichung, built to be the international port of central Taiwan

  • However, it seemed that they missed a few geography classes

  • causing the port to encounter many problems with tides and silt, and spending the government a great fortune on maintaining

  • Moreover, the SMALL Su-ao Port was dragged into being a part of the Ten MAJOR Constructions

  • The result of expanding such a small port caused a large budget deficit

  • Until the 70s,

  • under the emphasis put on being environmental friendly

  • Petrochemical industry and the nuclear power plants in the Ten Major Constructions

  • although seemed helpful to Taiwan’s economy

  • but brought out protesters due to the pollution issues

  • Had the government predicted that some constructions

  • might be untimely after they were constructed

  • Perhaps, there are some things you will regret tomorrow if you don’t do them now

  • but looking at these constructions fails, maybe for a few things

  • you will still regret tomorrow even if you do them today

  • After saying so much

  • we seemed to understand a little more about Taiwan’s economic miracle

  • In the time of globalization

  • economic development not only requires our own efforts

  • but looking out for the international trend is equally important

  • In the past, the economic miracle seemed like a smooth sailing

  • however, the sacrifices behind and the side effects it caused

  • should not be ignored

  • Environmental pollution and agricultural damage

  • plus the worsening disparity between the rich and the poor

  • should teach us a lesson

  • What kind of a development are we pursuing?

  • We used to be taught that

  • Taiwan founded on farming, and went through export processing stage

  • then relied on light industry, heavy industry, high tech to service industry

  • blah blah blah...

  • The economy development was like climbing on a ladder

  • all we had to do was climb step by step and we should meet success

  • don’t think, don’t whine, don’t hesitate

  • But is this how it should work?

  • Is it possible that a ladder might be suitable for others but not for us?

  • Or is it possible that we discover nothing at the top of the ladder and find that it is an one-way trip?

  • Or even if we assume there exist a globally suitable ladder

  • on which step of the ladder is Taiwan currently stand on?

  • And where should the next step lead us?

  • Ok

  • after saying so much. I am getting kind of thirsty

  • after drinking this piece of chicken cake(...?)

  • See you same time next month!

  • Bye

  • Taiwan Bar is produced by DJ Hauer

  • Scripted and hosted by Buchi "it’s our second-to-last episode!"

  • History context provided by Thomas the choo-choo train, who is dating all the time and have no time for us...

  • Animated by jiajiach, who stays healthy and pretty and only eats vegetarian pizza

  • Music produced by DJ Hauer

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  • We will upload new episodes at 8 pm on the first of every month

  • Okay, that’s it

  • Yeah~ we can finally eat the chicken cakes

  • Hey, where did you get the chicken cakes?

  • Kris gave it to me

  • Kris who?

  • Kris, the boss of Philosophy Philosophy Chicken Cake

  • Evening, evening, good evening

  • I am Kris from P. P. C. C.

  • Starting next month

  • I will teach you how to make a desert in every episode

  • And talk a little about philosophy while we are at it

  • You might have indigestion problem eating while listening to philosophy

  • But that’s alright, I will eat what you can’t

  • Evening, evening, good evening, I am Kris

  • See you next time in P.P.C.C.!

Hello everyone, welcome to Taiwan Bar

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