SOAS University of London

Centre of Taiwan Studies

Book Talk: The Tiger Leading the Dragon: How Taiwan Propelled China's Economic Rise

Shelley Rigger

Date: 1 June 2022Time: 3:00 PM

Finishes: 1 June 2022Time: 4:30 PM

Venue: Virtual Event

Type of Event: Talk

This session will be held using Microsoft Teams.
*Please be aware that this session follows British Summer Time (BST).

Abstract

How did the once-secretive, isolated People’s Republic of China become the factory to the world? Shelley Rigger convincingly demonstrates that the answer is Taiwan. She follows the evolution of Taiwan’s influence from the period when Deng Xiaoping lifted Mao’s prohibitions on business in the late 1970s, allowing investors from Taiwan to collaborate with local officials in the PRC to transform mainland China into a manufacturing powerhouse. After World War II, Taiwan’s fleet-footed export-oriented manufacturing firms became essential links in global supply chains. In the late 1980s, Taiwanese firms seized the opportunity to lower production costs by moving to the PRC, which was seeking foreign investment to fuel its industrial rise. Within a few years, Taiwan’s traditional manufacturing had largely relocated to the PRC, opening space for a wave of new business creation in information technology. The Tiger Leading the Dragon traces the development of the cross-Taiwan Strait economic relationship and explores how Taiwanese firms and individuals transformed Chinese business practices. It also reveals their contributions to Chinese consumer behavior, philanthropy, religion, popular culture, and law.

The Tiger Leading the Dragon: How Taiwan Propelled China's Economic Rise

Speaker Bio

Shelley Rigger

Shelley Rigger is the Brown Professor of East Asian Politics at Davidson College. She has a PhD in Government from Harvard University and a BA in Public and International Affairs from Princeton University. She has been a Fulbright scholar at National Taiwan University (2019), a visiting researcher at National Chengchi University in Taiwan (2005) and a visiting professor at Fudan University (2006) and Shanghai Jiaotong University (2013 & 2015). She is a non-resident fellow of the China Policy Institute at Nottingham University and a senior fellow of the Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI). She is also a director of The Taiwan Fund, a closed-end investment fund specializing in Taiwan-listed companies. Rigger is the author of two books on Taiwan’s domestic politics, Politics in Taiwan: Voting for Democracy (Routledge 1999) and From Opposition to Power: Taiwan’s Democratic Progressive Party (Lynne Rienner Publishers 2001). She has published two books for general readers, Why Taiwan Matters: Small Island, Global Powerhouse (2011) and The Tiger Leading the Dragon: How Taiwan Propelled China’s Economic Rise (2021). She has published articles on Taiwan’s domestic politics, the national identity issue in Taiwan-China relations and related topics. In 2019-20 she was a Fulbright Senior Scholar based in Taipei, where she worked on a study of Taiwan’s contributions to the PRC’s economic take-off and a study of Taiwanese youth.

Organiser: Centre of Taiwan Studies

Contact email: hl55@soas.ac.uk