Taiwan Studies Programme

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

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Thursday 28th October 2021 (16:30-18:00)

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riggerbook cover

The University of Nottingham's Taiwan Studies Programme presents an online book launch by Shelley Rigger, Brown Professor of East Asian Politics and Chair of Chinese Studies at Davidson College.

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

This talk, based on Shelley Rigger’s new book, The Tiger Leading the Dragon, traces the development of the cross-Taiwan Strait economic relationship and explores how Taiwanese firms and individuals helped create the China of today.

Talk abstract

In 1976 the People’s Republic of China had no private enterprise, and only the most rudimentary markets. Yet 30 years later it was the factory to the world. How did that transformation occur? One little-known factor is the contribution to China’s development from Taiwanese investors. Taiwan’s nimble export manufacturers already were embedded in global supply chains when they began moving operations to the PRC in the late 1980s. The resources and connections Taiwanese investors brought with them spurred China’s economic growth and development and gave the PRC access to global markets and supply chains. Taiwanese also reshaped the PRC’s consumer markets, popular culture, and religious practice. 

Short biography

Shelley Rigger is the Brown Professor of East Asian Politics and Chair of Chinese Studies at Davidson College. She has a PhD in Government from Harvard University and a BA from Princeton University. 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). 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). In 2011 she published Why Taiwan Matters: Small Island, Global Powerhouse, a book for general readers. She has published articles on Taiwan’s domestic politics, the national identity issue in Taiwan-China relations and related topics. She is working on a study of Taiwan’s contributions to the PRC’s economic take-off and a study of Taiwanese youth

Taiwan Studies Programme

University of Nottingham
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