The Tiger Leading the Dragon: How Taiwan Propelled China’s Economic Rise

Shelley Rigger, Brown Professor of Political Science, Davidson College

4:30pm - 5:45pm | CSCC Conference Room, 133 S. 36th St, Room 418

Professor Rigger discusses her new book "The Tiger Leading the Dragon: How Taiwan Propelled China’s Economic Rise". How did the once-secretive, isolated People’s Republic of China become the factory to the world? Shelley Rigger convincingly demonstrates that the answer is Taiwan. She follows the evolution of Taiwan’s influence from the period when Deng Xiaoping lifted Mao’s prohibitions on business in the late 1970s, allowing investors from Taiwan to collaborate with local officials in the PRC to transform mainland China into a manufacturing powerhouse. After World War II, Taiwan’s fleet-footed export-oriented manufacturing firms became essential links in global supply chains. In the late 1980s, Taiwanese firms seized the opportunity to lower production costs by moving to the PRC, which was seeking foreign investment to fuel its industrial rise. Within a few years, Taiwan’s traditional manufacturing had largely relocated to the PRC, opening space for a wave of new business creation in information technology. The Tiger Leading the Dragon traces the development of the cross-Taiwan Strait economic relationship and explores how Taiwanese firms and individuals transformed Chinese business practices. It also reveals their contributions to Chinese consumer behavior, philanthropy, religion, popular culture, and law.

This event is held onsite with a simultaneous Zoom session, please register in advance for Zoom access: https://upenn.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJwuf-moqTkuG9R9fLItIPtdttLXGycy_Mg9 After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.


Professor Shelley Rigger's bio.