Democratic Development in East Asia by Becky Shelley

By Becky Shelley

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Popular dissatisfaction as a consequence of the failures of ‘The Great Leap Forward’, and the outcome of the ‘hundred flowers’ campaign contributed to the development of factional struggles within the Chinese Communist Party. During the Cultural Revolution the human rights of many Chinese citizens were abused. Purges and accusations began in 1965 and constrained political behaviour. 77 Regional change 1970s–1996 The international context During the period between the 1970s and the Asian financial crisis in the mid-1990s, the international political economy changed in three ways relevant to this chapter.

70 In addition to their direct control of state enterprises, the Kuomintang owned, wholly or partly, around 50 companies. This gave the Kuomintang significant power over domestic economic activities. As a consequence of the government’s policies, the stateowned enterprises largely monopolized the domestic market. Local Taiwanese were encouraged to develop small to medium sized firms. 74 Businesses soon had more at stake in the role the government played. During the 1950s–1960s, external actors, local entrepreneurs, big businesses and workers seemed unwilling to disturb the authoritarian bargain.

It also constrained the development of an organized, politicized labour movement. The regimes justified politically repressive laws and policies on the basis of the threatening external context. 62 In 1963, the Park government amended the labour laws instituted by the American military command. The amendments imposed significant new constraints on labour autonomy and represented a step toward a corporatist system. 63 On Taiwan the Kuomintang enacted legislation that prohibited strikes, restricted wage bargaining and subjected all unions to local government supervision.

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