Thoughts on Economic Development in China (Routledge Studies in the Modern World Economy)


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Contemporary Chinese sources described the people as having tattoos and other bodily markings which indicated differences in socioeconomic status. In ancient Japan, a person's wealth was described in kokus and measured in bales of rice. As rice signified money, large quantities of rice had to be stored and distributed nationally.

Moreover, the imperial Japanese tax system was based on rice and it taxed peasants with rice and paid the salaries of high ranking government workers with it. Soon, rice played an important role in Japan's economy and was used as currency for more than a millennium. The two nations increased their economic relations greatly by the 1st century AD when Japanese envoys were sent to Korea and China.

Japanese silk was in high demand by the ancient Koreans and Chinese as it was used produce clothing. From the end of the 7th century to the 8th century, Japan introduced various sociopolitical systems imported from Tang China in order to create a centralized government based on the medieval Japanese ritsuryo code. The Yamato government began minting coins in AD. Soon the national currency was reverted to rice instead of coins to exchange for goods and services. Commodity money began to gain economic value and status and became the stable criteria for evaluating monetary value of various goods and services.


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Government offices in the Japanese capital issued payment orders similar to modern-day checks to rice warehouses under their political constituencies. The Japanese economy enjoyed a period of growth and prosperity during the medieval era. Self-employed artisans lived in settlements as villages and towns began to take shape, creating a tradition of handicrafts.

As the marketplaces became more sophisticated and advanced, market towns began to develop with important food and livestock markets and feudal landlords would begin to cash in on crops worked and tilled by peasants. Major cities would grow into silk, porcelain, and cotton centers providing work for a lot of people and made inter-regional trade easier so merchants and consumers participated in a local market system to exchange goods and services with one another. In addition, improvements in agriculture contributed to economic growth as new strains of rice resisted droughts and disease, and fertilizers allowed double cropping of fields with better irrigation techniques to help farmers produce greater surpluses.


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In the middle of the 12th century, Chinese coins began to flow into Japan and were beginning to be used as a form of currency. Coins eventually replaced bartering and commodity money such as rice, silk, and hemp as a form of economic exchange. The Japanese government suspended the issue of coins until the 16th century, leaving Japanese commoners with only the Chinese coins toraisen to use.

To address the increased demand for coins, privately minted Japanese coins shichusen were circulated, but the quality of these coins differed by type. As the result, "erizeni" caused confusion in the nation's coin circulation. As the inflow of coins from Ming China disrupted in the latter half of the Japanese economy during the 16th century, rice, gold and silver served as a medium of exchange and evaluating monetary value.

During the Tokugawa period, the Japanese rice-based feudal economy grew significantly as a stronger emphasis on agricultural production led to greater economic output. The growth of the merchant class also fueled the growth of early modern Japanese cities. Villages, which operated as largely independent units, also expanded with economic activity gradually shifting from subsistence farming to a more sophisticated commercial agricultural based and relatively advanced technology greatly improved the quality of domestic Japanese made handicrafts such as silk production, textile weaving, and sake brewing.

China was also Korea's maritime partner, having a long history dating back thousands of years when ancient Korea commenced trade with ancient China through the Shandong Province through the Yellow Sea route. Korea did not begin to use money until the Goryeo period when coins began to flow in during China's Song Dynasty AD were imported and began to circulate. Fundamental commodities such as grain, rice, and cloth were used and later knives were introduced with settlers coming in from China during the Warring States Period BC - BC based on archaeological evidence excavated at sites in the Pyongan and Cholla provinces.

These coins became the official currency and were known as wuzhu in Chinese or oshuchon in Korean, meaning 'five-grain'. The oshuchon continued to be used by the two kingdoms of Goguryeo and Silla up to the 10th century CE. Modern archaeological evidence points out that they are commonly found in the tombs of the Nangnang Lelang region.

The Joseon Dynasty became Korea's first golden age, as a majority of Korean innovations were developed at that time. Moreover, Confucianism was utilized as a blueprint for organizing Joseon society in which private business remained under government influence inhibiting economic growth as the Confucian social hierarchy placed merchants at the bottom under scholars, farmers, craftsmen, and technicians even though successful merchants may have enjoyed great wealth and craftsmen and technicians led middle class lifestyles.

The Joseon government also subsidized the agricultural industry and land reclamation projects to increase food production — the growing of rice, barley, buckwheat, beans, ginseng, cotton and potatoes. Accompanying the agriculturally based prosperity came with the increased use of irrigation and a modern monetary economy was beginning to emerge. One famous international trade port during the Joseon era was Pyongnam , where medieval Korean merchants offered brocades, jewelries, ginseng, silk, and porcelain, which were renowned worldwide.

In the 17th century, relatively advanced technology brought improvements to domestic Korean made handicrafts as privately operated handicraft factories replaced government operated factories which spearheaded the production of more advanced and higher quality goods and services for sale. The increase in mercantile activities contributed to the rise of commercial farming, which transformed rural Joseon life. Coin currency circulated bridging the gap between rural life and the city economies. By the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, rice productivity declined in addition to deforestation and natural disasters contributed to the slowdown of the Joseon economy.

Grain storage became a target for corrupt politicians and tax exemptions ceased to exist to agricultural production from onward.

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The recordkeeping and development of the economic history of Taiwan started during the Age of Discovery. In the 17th century, European colonialists realized that the island nation Taiwan was located on the strategic cusp between the East and Southeast Asia. Two main European colonial empires that competed to colonize it were the Dutch and Spanish. In addition, Taiwan also became an intermediate destination for as a trading post between the Chinese Ming and Qing dynasties, Tokugawa Japan , and the indigenous Taiwanese aborigines.

Goods such as agate, sugar cane, raw spices, sulfur, dried fish, porcelain, herbal medicine, satin, rice paddies, cloth, salt, copper, venison and buckskin were traded between the Taiwanese aborigines and the European colonial empires and the East Asian states. The Dutch would later colonize Southern Taiwan in and later spread its influence to the North in Keelung and Tamsui in order to trade with the Ming dynasty. The Dutch would collect the commodities and monopolize the export trade.

By , the company exported sugar to Persia, Japan, and Jakarta and had about 35 trading posts in Asia. Tayoan gained However, the profit was distributed to shareholders of the company, and not the local Taiwanese. In , the Ming general Cheng Cheng-Kung and his troops fled to Taiwan after being defeated by the Qing dynasty and drove away the Dutch. After his successful siege of Ft Zeelandia , he had accomplished this but his rule caused the Qing to revive the sea bans and cut off maritime trade in a bid to weaken him.

His dynasty ruled Taiwan as the independent kingdom of Tungning , establishing land distribution systems in order to efficiently supply food for their army. During the Cheng period, Taiwan continued to operate as a major international trading post as it continued trade with various foreign countries. A strict ban on Han Chinese immigration from the coastal cities of China was instituted by the Kingdom of Cheng and Taiwan was transformed into an autocratic system resulted a long period of economic stagnation as its prominence as a global trading post regressed.

After defeating Koxinga's private army, the Qing government had no interest in improving the economy of Taiwan, calling it an uncivilized land huawai zhi di. Thus, economic activities mostly came from the settlements of Han Chinese immigrants. The most significant economic development during this time period was Taiwan's exclusive trade with China, mainly merchants from Fujian and the establishment of irrigation systems and hydraulic engineering projects.

Exports included rice, sugar, jutes, rattains, and camphor wood while goods such as cotton fabric, cloth, silk, paper, agricultural equipment, wine and porcelain were imported. Tainan , Lukang , and Banka became the three largest cities in Taiwan. The Europeans came to trade with Taiwan and Taiwan began to reintegrate itself in the global economy.

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Despite high profits, trading was speculative and high risk resulting many businesses to go bankrupt. Old-fashioned Chinese business management systems would unable to compete with the modern Western management system. Taiwanese merchants soon learn European management practices and began to start their own businesses. Taiwanese merchants were learn the practices so proficiently and adeptly, they soon began to excel over the European trading houses.


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By the end of the 19th century, Taiwanese merchants dominated Taiwan's import-export trade and accumulated large sums of profits through commercial relations with China, England, and the Netherlands. Some merchant families such as the Lin Pun-Yuan family who traded domestically and internationally even established their own local banks and money exchange houses to lend money to local producers. As a result, Taiwan began experiencing a commercial revolution prior to Japanese occupation in Japanese capital flooded into Taiwan and large Japanese-owned firms would overshadow the Taiwanese firms paving the way for Taiwan to achieve full-blown capitalism.

Thoughts on Economic Development in China | Taylor & Francis Group

As a result, Japanese colonial intentions were made to modernize the island's economy, industry, and public works rather than exploitation, subjugation and oppression. Taiwan was a formidable agricultural exporting economy exporting a myriad of crops in large quantities. As the s loomed, Taiwan began to lose its competitive edge as an agricultural output reached its limit: The arable land was exhausted and reached their ceilings.

The lack of resources and rapid militarization and industrialization of Japan forced Taiwan to readjust its economic structure. Light industries such as light bulbs, glass, inks, pencils, porcelain, radios, leather, nail, and agricultural machinery was also developed for war-time self-sufficiency. By , Taiwan's industrial manufacturing output exceeded its agricultural output for the first time in its economic history, a trend that would continue after the war until the s. When World War II ended in , the amount of damage done to Taiwan was minimal and its agricultural sector was highly advanced.

Due to the Chinese civil war that led Chiang Kai-Shek to retreat to Taiwan from Mainland China to escape Mao Zedong and the Communists, 2 million Chinese refugees and soldiers flooded the island inducing widespread poverty and chaos. With Taiwan's prewar industrialization being well set, most of Taiwan's modern industries began to burgeon with a wide range of light and heavy industries that would propel the resource-poor island for further modernization.

Until the early 19th century, the economies of East Asia together was larger than today's high-income economies combined measured in purchasing power parity terms. The share of China and East Asia declined significantly up until the s. By the s, East Asia began to make its mark on the world economy when it began growing faster than the high-income economies of the Western World and today their share accounts for one-third of the global output and one-half in PPP terms. East Asians value education in these fields more than the liberal arts, social sciences, and humanities.

In addition, China and Japan are now investing billions of dollars into their universities and research institutes to create more cutting edge goods and services. Present growth in East Asia has now shifted to Mainland China. As of , Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong are the four East Asian countries and regions that are considered developed markets by most economic indexes. Since the end of the 20th century, Japan's role as the principal economic power in the region has shifted to the Four Asian Tiger economies and more recently, China, which became world's second largest economy in By the mid to late 19th century, China began losing its global economic edge as the European colonial powers and Japan were rapidly modernizing and industrializing.

In addition, the cutting edge inventions born out of Western European scientific and technological discoveries and advancements propelled the growth of the European colonial powers. The growth of railways and discovery of electricity took hold in Europe, North America, and its extended European outposts transforming them in modern industrialized societies while China remained unaffected, maintaining a stunted feudal agricultural society.

China accounts for China's rise in the global economy catapulted the Middle Kingdom into East Asia's largest economy, overtaking Japan as the world's second largest economy in August In the early s, the British colony of Hong Kong became the first of the Four Asian Tiger economies by developing strong textile and manufacturing industries and by the s, had solidified itself as a global financial center and was quickly turning into a developed economy. Additionally, the economy of Macau, then a Portuguese colony , was also experiencing rapid growth during this period through textile manufacturing and the development of a hospitality and tourism industry, which resulted in high levels of foreign direct investment into the territory.

East Asia became an area of early modern economic power starting with the Meiji Restoration in the late 19th century when Japan rapidly transformed itself as the first and only industrial economic power in East Asia. From the late nineteenth century to the end of the s, Japan was the dominant economic power in East Asia. After its defeat and economic collapse after the war, Japan's economy recovered in the s with the post-war economic miracle in which rapid growth in the Japanese economy propelled the country into the world's second-largest economy by the s.

Perry appeared off the Japanese coast. Faced with the threat of invasion, Japan was forced to cast aside global isolation, and opened up to Western trade. Emperor Meiji emerged from the shadows stressing his zeal for modernization through the development of industry and cutting-edge modern technology by abolishing feudalism in the late s. With a national conviction to not be overtaken by the Western World, Japan launched itself headlong into a militant drive to industrialize and modernize at a breakneck pace, established itself as the first modern East Asian power.

The Meiji government endeavored to assimilate Western ideas and philosophies, science and technological advances and ways of military warfare integrated with their traditional Japanese philosophies to suit its growing needs for modernization. As the Meiji Era began, the new Japanese national leadership systematically ended feudalism and transformed the archipelago from an underdeveloped feudal samurai state into East Asia's first industrialized nation that closely rivaled the Western colonial powers during the latter half of the nineteenth century.

To promote industrialization, the government decided that, while it should help private business to allocate resources and to plan, the private sector was best equipped to stimulate economic growth. The greatest role of government was to help provide the economic conditions in which business could flourish. The Meiji period saw the new government pour its economic resources into industry and modern technology. As the Meiji government emerged as the chief promoter of private enterprise, enacting a series of pro-business policies, it poured venture capital into many private businesses focused on modern technology, but many of these failed to take off and were sold at a loss to bidding businessmen but the power of the great zaibatsu business conglomerates such as Mitsui and Mitsubishi would eventually become global household names.

Once the initial losses were written off, many of the remaining businesses became profitable. Legal frameworks were established, and export and banking industries soon took hold to funnel venture capital towards financing modern trade and industry. The industrial revolution in Japan first appeared in textiles, including cotton and especially silk, which was based in home workshops in rural areas. By the s, Japanese textiles dominated the domestic market and competed successfully with British products in China and India, as well. Japanese shippers were competing with European traders to carry these goods across Asia and Europe.

By improving the quality of textile making equipment to both upgrade the quality and quantity of silk, Japan became the world's largest exporter of silk in The Meiji government also modernized its infrastructure by establishing railway and shipping lines, telegraph and telephone systems, shipyards, mines, and inaugurated a land reform program to prepare the country for further development.

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Integrating the Western ideal of capitalism into the development of modern science and technology and applying it to private business and military enhancing capabilities catapulted Japan into the forefront of military and economic dynamism by the beginning of the 20th century. Japan emerged from World War II as a ruined and demoralized country battered into economic submission by the victorious Allies.

Foreign occupation by the United States prompted the island nation to make its second opening to the world, adopting Westernization in all aspects by jump-starting a new economy by beginning to set its sights through the export of goods and services to the United States. Foreign quality experts such as the acclaimed management consultant Edwards Deming to improve the quality control of Japan's initial export of industrial products to compete match the quality of American factories at the time.

In the early days of the post-war economic miracle, Japan would organize their zaibatsu conglomerates that offered lifetime employment as well as seniority pay. Trade unions in the s were very active and collective bargaining was reached through Confucian values of trust and reciprocity through dedication to work with the reward of lifetime employment and job re-training.

The quality of Japanese goods began to improve and the international demand for Japanese goods eventually grew. In the s, Japan's image for pushing poor quality products was very much undeserved but improving nonetheless. Surprisingly, Japanese products competed successfully with its American and European counterparts both in terms of quality and pricing. By the s, Japan's initial image for exporting shoddy and low quality products began to change dramatically.

The U. Despite bubbles culminating with a series of stock and real estate market crashes, the post-war miracle had transformed the island archipelago into the industrialized nation with a thriving middle class that it is today. Following the Korean War , South Korea remained one of the poorest countries in the world for over a decade. Transforming itself from a resource-poor peninsula to an advanced high technology powerhouse with a cutting-edge electronic, automobiles, shipbuilding, steel, and petrochemicals industry contributed to the country's robust and sustained economic growth for over 50 years.

Capital investments in research and development are among the highest in the world relative to its national income. Investments in alternative energy, green technologies, and biotechnology are key in securing the nation's economic prosperity. Its industrial strengths include large numbers of world class brand names of automobiles, electronics, LCD lighting technology, semi-conductors, and shipbuilding. Bank of Korea and Korea Development Institute periodically release major economic indicators and economic trends of the economy of South Korea.

In , Taiwan was a recipient of foreign aid and had a GDP per capita and human development index comparable among the least developed countries such as Zaire and Congo in the world at that time. Taiwan's rapid prewar development of agriculture and industry induced its rapid postwar economic takeoff. The book describes important stages in the evolution, cross-fertilization and contextual modification of ideas about economic order, development and institutional change.

It illustrates how Western concepts and theories have been adopted and adapted to Chinese conditions in different waves of modernization from the late 19th century until the present and that this was and is no one-way traffic. The book examines to what extent pre-classical thinking in the West, in particular French Physiocracy in midth century, was influenced by China as an ideal and a source of ideas, at a time when China was the largest and most advanced economy in the world.

It discusses to what extent different approaches of modern Western-style economics, in particular in the fields of development economics and institutional economics, can be used to understand the rapid transitions and developments of the Chinese economy in recent decades, and to what extent they need to be modified in the light of new experiences and insights. Against this background, several contributions to the volume provide assessments of the current state of economic science and teaching in China, in particular with regard to Chinese views on Western economics.

Scholars, MBAs and doctoral students will find much that is intellectually stimulating in the above works reviewed here. Development Theory and Transition, Massimo Ricottilli His research interests include business cycles in developed countries, fiscal transfers as regional policy tools in Germany and the EU, thoughts of the German Historical School on economic development and fundamental theories and methodology of the structuralist approach to development economics.

His research interests include the transnationalisation of finance and production, monetary integration and economic development, comparative evaluations of modern and older approaches to monetary macroeconomics, and the history of economic thought. He has been visiting professor at Wuhan University and at various universities and research institutes in Europe and South America.

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Thoughts on Economic Development in China (Routledge Studies in the Modern World Economy) Thoughts on Economic Development in China (Routledge Studies in the Modern World Economy)
Thoughts on Economic Development in China (Routledge Studies in the Modern World Economy) Thoughts on Economic Development in China (Routledge Studies in the Modern World Economy)
Thoughts on Economic Development in China (Routledge Studies in the Modern World Economy) Thoughts on Economic Development in China (Routledge Studies in the Modern World Economy)
Thoughts on Economic Development in China (Routledge Studies in the Modern World Economy) Thoughts on Economic Development in China (Routledge Studies in the Modern World Economy)
Thoughts on Economic Development in China (Routledge Studies in the Modern World Economy) Thoughts on Economic Development in China (Routledge Studies in the Modern World Economy)
Thoughts on Economic Development in China (Routledge Studies in the Modern World Economy) Thoughts on Economic Development in China (Routledge Studies in the Modern World Economy)
Thoughts on Economic Development in China (Routledge Studies in the Modern World Economy) Thoughts on Economic Development in China (Routledge Studies in the Modern World Economy)
Thoughts on Economic Development in China (Routledge Studies in the Modern World Economy) Thoughts on Economic Development in China (Routledge Studies in the Modern World Economy)
Thoughts on Economic Development in China (Routledge Studies in the Modern World Economy)

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