China (continued),Taiwan, and Japan after 1945 • March 26, 2013
Review • What is the difference between a totalitarian government and an authoritarian government? • What was the impact on the Chinese economy of the switch from an import-substitution economy to an export-oriented economy, and from dictation to regulation of the economy? • What was the Cultural Revolution? • What happened in China in Spring, 1989? • Is China still a Communist country?
The PRC and its neighbours • 1950--China seizes Tibet (p. 462) • 1950-53 China participates in the Korean War, supporting North Korea (pp. 460-61) • 1962--a brief border war with India • 1969--clashes along the border with the USSR (Russia) • 1979 -invades Vietnam but is forced to retreat. (p. 475) • Recovers Hong Kong (1997) and Macao (1999) • Tibet, Taiwan and the South China Sea remain serious foreign policy issues. • Uighur unrest remains a concern (p. 463)
China in the years ahead • How will an economic downturn affect China, now that economic growth and nationalism have replaced communism as the primary legitimizing force? • Will rising unrest in rural areas become a serious problem? What about unemployed workers? • If the economy continues to grow and produce a larger middle class, will pressure for democracy grow as well? • What will be the impact of growing income inequality?
Income Inequality • The distribution of wealth in China is more unequal than it is in the US (one of the most unequal in the Western world). • In 2012, the average urban income was $4,000. The average rural income was $1,300. • In 2012 there were 251 billionaires in China, and 2,700,000 millionaires. • The new leader Xi Jinping has pledged to narrow the income gap.
Taiwan: a democratic alternative • Taiwan was under Japanese rule from 1895 to 1945, during which time it began modernizing, and Taiwanese began seeing themselves as different from other Chinese. • Incorporated into Chiang Kai-shek’s Republic of China in 1945. Was never a part of the People’s Republic of China • There was resistance in Taiwan to the KMT (Feb.28, 1947) (pp. 487) • Was under a KMT dictatorship until the 1990s. • As the KMT became more Taiwanese, it became more democratic. Held democratic election for president in 1996 (after free parliamentary elections in 1992), and won. • 2000--first peaceful transfer of power, to the Democratic Progressive Party. 2nd peaceful transfer of power in 2008
Barrington Moore and Taiwan • How would Barrington Moore explain the democratization of Taiwan? • Moore would point out that land reform early in the KMT years undermined the landlord-state coalition that supports Fascism. • The KMT promoted economic growth in a free market (in order to gain legitimacy), creating alternative centres of power. • The Taiwanese were the majority of the population, and the KMT needed their support to continue to govern. (The old distinction between mainlanders and Taiwanese has faded as the post-1945 immigrant generation has died off. Most people in Taiwan now call themselves Taiwanese.)
Modernization Comparison • Per capita GDP in 2012 (in US dollars) • People’s Republic of China $9,100 (118th in the world) • Taiwan $38,500 (27th in the world) • Japan $36,200 (36th in the world)
Douglas MacArthur, Asia’s Greatest Revolutionary • 1945-1952 Japan is occupied by a foreign power for the first time in its history • Demilitarization of Japan, including putting war criminals on trial (but why was the Emperor left on his throne?) (p.448), then Article 9 (the no-war clause) of the new constitution. (p. 449) • social revolution--land reform for peasants, workers can now form labour unions, women are now legally equal to men, the individual is the basic unit of society rather than the family. (p. 449)
Japan gets democracy • Militarists lose power, and landlords lose their land under American land reform. At the same time, businessmen get out from under the thumb of the government, and from the zaibatsu (conglomerates of interlocked companies) (p. 449) • The MacArthur constitution gives Japan parliamentary government, equality for women, freedom of speech and press, freedom for workers to organize. (p. 447) • Was Douglas MacArthur Asia’s greatest revolutionary?
Japan’s Politics • The Liberal Democratic Party was replaced as the ruling party by the Democratic Party of Japan in 2009. Then, in 2012, the voters returned the LDP to power. That’s two peaceful transfers of power over the last five years. • The peaceful transfer of power to the DPJ in 2009 brought an end to over 50 years of Liberal Democratic Party hegemony. • Japan is still bound by article 9 of the MacArthur Constitution, but is becoming more outspoken in its foreign policy. • Japan still has problems with minorities like burakumin, Koreans and Okinawans. (pp. 516-18) • Japan is unusual in that a religious party plays a minor but significant political role. Soka Gakki remains a political and religious force. (The New Kōmeitō political party is associated with SGI.) (p. 455)
What is democracy? • a political system grounded in the recognition of the legitimacy of conflicts of interests. Democracy provides mechanisms such as elections for the peaceful resolution of such conflicts. There also must be a real possibility for citizens to influence policy and even to form opposition parties that can themselves someday run the government Many scholars withhold the label “democracy” from a country that has not experienced two peaceful transfers of power in a row.
Politics and the Economy • Japan recovered quickly after the war, and began growing rapidly (until the 1990s) Administrative guidance from the government directed investment into more productive channels. • Japan has had a stable government--perhaps too stable. From 1955 to 2009, most of the time the Liberal Democratic Party governed Japan. The Democratic Party of Japan won the election in 2009 and controlled the government until Dec. 2012, when the LDP again won the election and became the ruling party.
Japan’s Economic Rise • In the 1950s and 60s, Japan had the fastest growing economy in the world. How did Japan do that? • It rebuilt from the destruction of war with brand new technology, and with the aid of Korean War contracts. • The government offered advice to ensure capital was concentrated in the most appropriate sectors • The US took care of Japan’s defence needs, allowing Japanese capital to be put to peaceful use.
Japan: No Longer #1 • Starting in 1990--2 decades of economic stagnation. Japan now has a lower per capita GDP than Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan --and Canada. But it is not a poor country. It is still 36th in the world, and has the world’s 5th largest economy (behind the EU, US, China, and India). • Japan has one of the largest government deficits in the world, as a percentage of annual GDP. More than Greece, Italy, Iceland, or the US. • In 2010 the Japanese economy grew faster than the US or Canadian economies, but land values have not risen back to 1990 levels. • An aging and shrinking population, plus a reliance on exports, makes hopes for a return to the boom days of the 1960s and 1970s look unlikely. Even the shift in 2009 to DPJ from LDP made little difference.
Japan and Its Neighbours • China: The legacy of the Pacific War Disputes over the Senkaku/ Diaoyutai islands • Korea: North and South Rocky relations with North Korea because of kidnapped Japanese, • disputes with South Korea over both Dokto /Takeshima Island and over history. • Russia: Who owns the Kurile islands?
Questioning Japan • New religious movements: Aum Shinrikyo (now Aleph) and Happy Science (says its still living founder is the Buddha incarnate) • Nihonjinron--search for the the uniqueness of the “Japanese race.” Unique language, homogeneous people, and unique psychology and even physiology. (p. 518) • Making Japan a “normal country.”
Okinawa after 1945 • Conquered by the US in a bloody battle in spring, 1945 • Occupied by the US until 1972 (occupation of the rest of Japan ended in 1952) Taiwan protested the reversion to Japan. (Some people in the PRC now claim that the Kingdom of the Ryūkyūs was part of China!) • Still has more US military personnel than all of the rest of Japan • Average income is 75% of the average income of Japanese on the main islands because of discrimination at the hands of other Japanese. (See Ebrey, 517)