International Development Organizations and Agricultural Development in Taiwan, 1945-1975

Jan 01, 2012 | by
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In 1973, one of the last American commissioners of the Sino-US Joint Commission on the Rural Reconstruction of China, Bruce H. Billings, wrote in his final report on the legacy of the Commission: "Because the Taiwan story is largely a success story, I believe that professionals in the development business should spend time studying the development history of the island …" The success story was the "Taiwan miracle." Since the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1949, Taiwan transformed itself from a former Japanese colony primarily exporting rice and sugar to a "developed" nation with a seven billion USD gross domestic product (GDP) in 1972. Over the course of twenty years, starting in 1950, nominal GDP rose an astonishing 2700%. A large reason for this rapid growth was the development project initiated by the United States and international organizations and carried out by the "professionals in the development business."