Land Reform in Taiwan

Land Reform in Taiwan

Land Reform in Taiwan

Land Reform in Taiwan

Excerpt

Land reform achievements on Taiwan have attracted widespread attention. Countries of Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America have sent representatives to make on-the-spot inspections or have requested cooperation and the dispatch of Chinese personnel to help them solve their land problems. Foreign visitors have shown a keen interest in our program. Consequently, it is hoped that these pages will make a small contribution to better understanding of Taiwan land reform and serve as a reference for those who want to carry out similar projects.

A study of Chinese history for the last 2,000 years shows recurring patterns of war and peace. Many causes may be listed, but the most important is inability to maintain a proper balance between land and population for any length of time. Whenever population increased to a point where land was insufficient, violent uprisings broke out and civil wars ensued. But with resulting reduction of population and restoration of the land-population equilibrium, another period of social and political stability would begin. Lasting peace and stability are not possible until this vicious cycle has been ended.

We know only too well that the best way to effect changes in an agrarian economy is to develop industry and trade. However, in a country where the economy is predominantly agricultural, capital investment in land and the exploitation of human labor constitute great impediments to such development. We must begin by setting capital and labor free through land reform.

Not only that. Even to step up land productivity, land reform is necessary. Under an unreasonable tenancy system, farmers have neither the interest to increase production nor the ability to improve land utilization. When the author was Gov-

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