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Chapter 6: Taiwan’s development miracle

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There are several reasons why development scholars should be interested in the case of Taiwan. As one author has written: ‘It once had a single dominant party following the Leninist model; it now has a competitive multiparty system. It was once a classic economic dependency relying on the sale of primary products (sugar and rice); it is today a leading exporter of manufactures. Its Land-to-the-Tiller program offers one of the most successful examples of creating a foundation for social equity and balanced growth’ (Chan, 2002: 174- 5). The achievements of Taiwan are so varied and impressive that it is justified to talk about ‘Taiwan’s development miracle’. After presenting some of the most salient achievements we will search for explanations behind them; thereafter, we will raise the key issue of their replicability in different contexts.

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