This talk will unveil the story of Taiwan’s economic transformation between 1949 and 1960, as Chiang Kai-shek and his Nationalist leaders turned away from a command economy to build a market economy more productive than any in Chinese history.
The talk gives special attention to how a small group ofpolitical and economic leaders began to formulate and later implement a bold new economic vision for Taiwan. In the process, they embraced institutional and organizational innovations that led to a dismantling of Taiwan's earlier centralized command economy and the growth of a new market system.
Much information in this research was obtained from historical papers that were recently made available at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University: the diaries of Chiang Kai-shek, Kuomintang party archives, and personal papers of Kuomintang leaders. It also makes use of first-hand oral interviews with former Nationalist officials and economists.
Tai-chun Kuo is Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. She was a Visiting Lecturer at the Center for East Asian Studies, Stanford University (2003) and Associate Professor at the Graduate Institute of American Studies, Tamkang University (Taiwan, 1997-2000). Prior to these positions, she served as Press Secretary to the President of the Republic of China (1990-1995), Deputy Director-General of the First Bureau of the Presidential Office (1989-1997), and Director of the ROC Government Information Office in Boston (1987-1988).
Outside of her own research, since 2003 she has assisted the Hoover Institution Archives in developing its Modern China Archives and Special Collections, including Kuomintang (Nationalist) party archives, diaries of Chiang Kai-shek and Chiang Ching-kuo, personal papers of T. V. Soong, H. H. K’ung, and other leading Chinese individuals.
Her major publications include Taiwan's Economic Transformation: Leadership, Property Rights, and Institutional Change; T. V. Soong in Modern Chinese History, China’s Quest for Unification, National Security, and Modernization; Breaking with the Past: China’s First Market Economy; Watching Communist China, 1949-79: A Methodological Review of China Studies in the United States of America and Taiwan; and The Power and Personality of Mao Tse-tung, among others.