Often compared with the Jews, the Chinese people have always enjoyed a reputation for hard work and thrift. It is equally common to put the economic miracle of Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore down to their ‘Confucian work ethic’. All of these three economies have benefited from investment of foreign capital — coming in Taiwan, it is true, largely from strategically-motivated American aid, but in Hong Kong and Singapore (which have never been beneficiaries of foreign aid) from industrious Overseas Chinese in Indonesia, the Philippines or Malaysia, nervous about their financial future since the removal of the safeguards for freedom of movement and of commerce they believed were dependent on colonial rule. But the greater share of the capital behind the miracle has been formed by local thrift in all three economies, while the rest has been attracted by the ‘ethic’ by which it was confidently expected the capital invested would be turned into commodities or into profitable services.
KeywordsTrade Union Communist Party International Labour Organization Cultural Revolution Economic Miracle
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Notes to Chapter Three: Toilers of the Far East
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