A Strait of Uncertainty: Taiwan's Development in the Shadow of China

Posted: 10 Apr 2012

See all articles by William C. Kirby

William C. Kirby

Harvard Business School

J. Greene

University of Kansas

Tracy Manty

Harvard University - Business School (HBS)

Date Written: September 10, 2010

Abstract

The "Taiwan Question" has been at the heart of politics in East Asia since 1950, when the Americans intervened in the Chinese civil war; or perhaps even since 1895, when Taiwan became part of the Japanese empire. It is a contested place that has played an important role in the story of modern China and modern Asia. Today, relations between the People's Republic of China (PRC) on the Chinese mainland, and the Republic of China (ROC) on Taiwan, are improving rapidly. Taiwan investment in the mainland has played a major role in China's economic boom in recent decades. Investments, partnerships, study, travel, and marriage across the Strait point to a future of ever-greater interaction between two parties that brought Asia to the brink of war three times in the last half-century (1954, 1958, 1996). But what does the future hold? Will Taiwan thrive and yet maintain its autonomy as part of the broader economy of "Greater China"? Will economic integration lead, inexorably, to Taiwan's incorporation into the People's Republic of China? How might the global economic crisis affect any of this? To gain perspective on modern Taiwan, let us look first to its history.

Learning Objective: Background history.

Suggested Citation

Kirby, William C. and Greene, J. and Manty, Tracy, A Strait of Uncertainty: Taiwan's Development in the Shadow of China (September 10, 2010). Harvard Business School NOM Unit Case No. 909-408, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2037929

William C. Kirby (Contact Author)

Harvard Business School ( email )

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Morgan 270C
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J. Greene

University of Kansas ( email )

1415
Lawrence, KS 66045
United States

Tracy Manty

Harvard University - Business School (HBS) ( email )

Soldiers Field Road
Morgan 270C
Boston, MA 02163
United States

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