Jieh-min Wu 吳介民
NTU & HYI Academic Book Series No. 7 (6th edition)
National Taiwan University Press, March 2023
This extended edition is the 6th edition the book, with new content from the author’s fieldwork and 50 additional illustrations. An English-language translation of the book was published in 2022 as part of the HYI Monograph Series. The first edition of the book was published in March 2019.
About the book: Taiwan has been depicted as an island facing the incessant threat of forcible annexation by the People’s Republic of China. Why, then, has Taiwan spent more than three decades pouring capital and talent into China? In award-winning Rival Partners, Wu Jieh-min follows the development of Taiwanese enterprises in China over twenty-five years and provides fresh insights. The geopolitical shift in Asia beginning in the 1970s and the global restructuring of value chains since the 1980s created strong incentives for Taiwanese entrepreneurs to rush into China despite high political risks and insecure property rights. Taiwanese investment, in conjunction with Hong Kong capital, laid the foundation for the world’s factory to flourish in the southern province of Guangdong, but official Chinese narratives play down Taiwan’s vital contribution. It is hard to imagine the Guangdong model without Taiwanese investment, and, without the Guangdong model, China’s rise could not have occurred. Going beyond the received wisdom of the “China miracle” and “Taiwan factor,” Wu delineates how Taiwanese businesspeople, with the cooperation of local officials, ushered global capitalism into China. By partnering with its political archrival, Taiwan has benefited financially, while helping to cultivate an economic powerhouse that increasingly exerts its influence around the world and could threaten the island country’s political survival.
About the NTU & HYI Academic Series: The book series, published by National Taiwan University Press, is a collaboration between the Harvard-Yenching Institute and the College of Liberal Arts of National Taiwan University. The Series publishes scholarly monographs in Chinese which make a major original contribution to the humanities and social sciences. Interdisciplinary studies are especially welcome. Submissions are encouraged from all Chinese-speaking regions and beyond. For more information about the NTU-HYI series, please visit the NTU Press website.