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IR - One Definition A Day: Asian Tigers & Cubs

 IR - One Definition A Day: Asian Tigers & Cubs

A colloquialism for a group of Asian economies which have experienced dynamic economic growth patterns in their recent past and have come to be regarded as standard bearers for economic liberalism and market economics. Five economies are normally understood to be in this (Asian Tigers) categorization: Hongkong, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan.

Putative Tigers - popularly called 'cubs' - are thought to include Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.

China - which after 1997 includes Hongkong - might be described figuratively as the 'Asian Dragon'.

  • 1. Hongkong,

Hong Kong (Chinese: 香港) is one of two special administrative regions (SARs) of the People's Republic of China (PRC), the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour. With a land mass of 1,104 km2 (426 sq mi) and a population of seven million people, Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated areas in the world.Hong Kong's population is 95 percent ethnic Chinese and 5 percent from other groups. Hong Kong's Han Chinese majority originate mainly from the cities of Guangzhou and Taishan in the neighbouring Guangdong province.


Hong Kong became a colony of the British Empire after the First Opium War (1839–42). Originally confined to Hong Kong Island, the colony's boundaries were extended in stages to the Kowloon Peninsula in 1860 and then the New Territories in 1898. It was occupied by Japan during the Pacific War, after which the British resumed control until 1997, when China resumed sovereignty.The region espoused minimum government intervention under the ethos of positive non-interventionism during the colonial era.The time period greatly influenced the current culture of Hong Kong, often described as "East meets West", and the educational system, which used to loosely follow the system in England until reforms implemented in 2009.


Under the principle of "one country, two systems", Hong Kong has a different political system from mainland China. Hong Kong's independent judiciary functions under the common law framework.The Basic Law of Hong Kong, its constitutional document, which stipulates that Hong Kong shall have a "high degree of autonomy" in all matters except foreign relations and military defence, governs its political system. Although it has a burgeoning multi-party system, a small-circle electorate controls half of its legislature. An 800-person Election Committee selects the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, the head of government.


As one of the world's leading international financial centres, Hong Kong has a major capitalist service economy characterised by low taxation and free trade, and the currency, Hong Kong dollar, is the ninth most traded currency in the world.The lack of space caused demand for denser constructions, which developed the city to a centre for modern architecture and the world's most vertical city.The dense space also led to a highly developed transportation network with public transport travelling rate exceeding 90 percent,the highest in the world.Hong Kong has numerous high international rankings in various aspects. 

For instance, its economic freedom, financial and economic competitiveness, quality of life, corruption perception, Human Development Index, etc., are all ranked highly. Read more


  • Japan

Japan (Listeni/əˈpæn/; Japanese: 日本 Nihon or Nippon, officially 日本国 About this sound Nippon-koku or Nihon-koku) is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, People's Republic of China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south. The characters that make up Japan's name mean "sun-origin", which is why Japan is sometimes referred to as the "Land of the Rising Sun".


Japan is an archipelago of 6,852 islands.The four largest islands are Honshū, Hokkaidō, Kyūshū and Shikoku, together accounting for ninety-seven percent of Japan's land area. Japan has the world's tenth-largest population, with over 127 million people. 

The Greater Tokyo Area, which includes the de facto capital city of Tokyo and several surrounding prefectures, is the largest metropolitan area in the world, with over 30 million residents.


Archaeological research indicates that people lived in Japan as early as the Upper Paleolithic period. The first written mention of Japan is in Chinese history texts from the 1st century AD. Influence from other nations followed by long periods of isolation has characterized Japan's history. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries victory in the First Sino-Japanese War, the Russo-Japanese War, and World War I allowed Japan to expand its empire during a period of increasing militarism. 

The Second Sino-Japanese War of 1937 expanded into part of World War II, which brought to an end in 1945 by the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Since adopting its revised constitution in 1947, Japan has maintained a unitary constitutional monarchy with an emperor and an elected parliament called the Diet.


A major economic power,Japan has the world's third-largest economy by nominal GDP and by purchasing power parity. It is also the world's fourth largest exporter and fourth largest importer. Although Japan has officially renounced its right to declare war, it maintains a modern military force in self-defense and peacekeeping roles. After Singapore, Japan has the lowest homicide (including attempted homicide) rate in the world. According to both UN and WHO estimates, Japan has the longest life expectancy of any country in the world. According to the UN, it has the third lowest infant mortality rate. Read more

  • South Korea


Korea (/kəˈriə/ kə-ree; Korean: 한국 Hanguk [hanɡuːk] or 조선 Joseon [tɕosʌn] – (cf. etymology)) is an East Asian country that is currently divided into two separate states- North Korea and South Korea. Located on the Korean Peninsula, Korea is bordered by the People's Republic of China to the northwest, Russia to the northeast, and is separated from Japan to the east by the Korea Strait and the Sea of Japan (East Sea), and separated from the Republic of China ("Taiwan") to the south by the East China Sea.

Archaeological and linguistic evidence suggest the origins of the Korean people were Altaic language-speaking people from south-central Siberia,who populated ancient Korea in successive waves from the Neolithic age to the Bronze Age.The adoption of the Chinese writing system ("Hanja" in Korean) in the 2nd century BC, and Buddhism in the 4th century AD, had profound effects on the Three Kingdoms of Korea.


Korea was united by Emperor Taejo of the Goryeo Dynasty in 936. Goryeo was a highly cultural state and created the Jikji in the 14th century, using the world's first movable metal type printing press. The Mongol invasions in the 13th century, however, greatly weakened the nation which was forced to become a tributary state. After the Mongol Empire's collapse, severe political strife followed and Goryeo was replaced by the Joseon Dynasty in 1388.


The first 200 years of Joseon were marked by relative peace and saw the creation of the Korean alphabet Hangul by King Sejong the Great in the 14th century and the rise in influence of Confucianism in the country. During the latter part of the dynasty, however, Korea's isolationist policy earned it the Western nickname the "Hermit Kingdom". By the late 19th century, the country became the object of the colonial designs of Japan. In 1910, Korea was annexed by Japan and remained so until the end of World War II in August 1945.


In 1945, the Soviet Union and the United States agreed on the surrender of Japanese forces in Korea and Soviet troops occupied north of the 38th parallel, while U.S. troops took surrender south of it. 

This decision by allied armies soon became the basis for the division of Korea by the two superpowers, exacerbated by their inability to agree on the terms of Korean independence. The two Cold War rivals then established governments sympathetic to their own ideologies, leading to Korea's current division into two political entities: North Korea and South Korea. The ensuing conflict between the two was largely a proxy war.


North Korea, officially the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, is a single-party state with a centrally planned industrial economy. South Korea, officially the Republic of Korea, is a free market, democratic, and developed country with membership in the United Nations, WTO, OECD and G-20 major economies. Read more

  • Singapore

Singapore (Listeni/ˈsɪŋəpɔː(r)/), officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, 137 kilometres (85 mi) north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the Singapore Strait to its south. The country is highly urbanised with very little primary rainforest remaining, although more land is being created for development through land reclamation.


Singapore had been a part of various local empires since it was first inhabited in the second century AD. It hosted a trading post of the East India Company in 1819 with permission from the Sultanate of Johor. The British obtained sovereignty over the island in 1824 and Singapore became one of the British Straits Settlements in 1826. Singapore was occupied by the Japanese in World War II and reverted to British rule after the war. It became internally self-governing in 1959. Singapore united with other former British territories to form Malaysia in 1963 and became a fully-independent state two years later after separation from Malaysia. Since then it has had a massive increase in wealth, and is one of the Four Asian Tigers. Singapore is the world's fourth leading financial centre, and its port is one of the five busiest ports in the world. The economy heavily depends on the industry and service sectors.


Singapore is a parliamentary republic with a Westminster system of unicameral parliamentary government. The People's Action Party (PAP) has won every election since the British grant of internal self-government in 1959. The legal system of Singapore has its foundations in the English common law system, but modifications have been made to it over the years, such as the removal of trial by jury. The PAP's popular image is that of a strong, experienced and highly-qualified government, backed by a skilled Civil Service and an education system with an emphasis on achievement and meritocracy; but it is perceived by some voters, opposition critics and international observers as being authoritarian and too restrictive on individual freedom.


Some 5 million people live in Singapore, of whom 2.91 million were born locally. Most are of Chinese, Malay or Indian descent. There are four official languages: English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil. One of the five founding members of the Association of South East Asian Nations, Singapore also hosts the APEC Secretariat, and is a member of the East Asia Summit, the Non-Aligned Movement, and the Commonwealth. Read more

  • Taiwan

Taiwan (Listeni/ˌtˈwɑːn/ ty-wahn), also known, especially in the past, as Formosa (from Portuguese: Ilha Formosa, "Beautiful Island"), is an island of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China (ROC) following the Chinese Civil War in 1950. Therefore, the name "Taiwan" has also become the pars pro toto common name for the ROC itself.


Separated from the Asian continent by the 160 km (99 mi) wide Taiwan Strait, the main island of the group is 394 km (245 mi) long and 144 kilometres (89 mi) wide.To the northeast are the main islands of Japan and the East China Sea, and the southern end of the Ryukyu Islands of Japan is directly to the east; the Batanes Islands of the Philippines lie to its south across the Bashi Channel. The mountainous island spans the Tropic of Cancer and is covered by tropical and subtropical vegetation. Other minor islands and islets of the group include the Penghu Islands (Pescadores), Green Island, and Orchid Island, as well as the Diaoyutai Islands (Senkaku islands), which have been controlled by Japan since the 1970s.


Taiwan was ceded to the Empire of Japan by the Qing Empire in the Treaty of Shimonoseki after the First Sino-Japanese War in 1895. In 1945 Taiwan was freed from Japan as a result of World War II. Four years later the ROC lost mainland China in the Chinese Civil War to the Communist Party of China and resettled its government to Taiwan. Taiwan composes the vast majority of the ROC's territory since 1950, and this is one of multiple reasons that the ROC is commonly known as "Taiwan". 

The political status of Taiwan is disputed because it is claimed by the People's Republic of China, which was established in 1949 by the communists on mainland China and considers itself the successor state to the ROC. In fact, since PRC's establishment, it never controlled any of the territories the ROC government currently governs. Japan had originally acquired Taiwan from the Qing Empire in 1895 under Article 2 of the Treaty of Shimonoseki

At the end of World War II, Japan renounced all claims to sovereignty over its former colonial possessions, including Taiwan and Penghu (Pescadores),but did not specify to whom Taiwan and Penghu should be assigned. This fact and subsequent handling of Taiwan's sovereignty by the Allies of World War II led to the complex and unresolved issues of the legal and political status of Taiwan.


Taiwan's rapid economic growth in the decades after World War II has transformed it into an industrialized developed country and one of the Four Asian Tigers. This economic rise is known as the Taiwan Miracle. It is categorized as an advanced economy by the IMF and as a high-income economy by the World Bank. Its advanced technology industry plays a key role in the global economy.Taiwanese companies manufacture a large portion of the world's consumer electronics, although most of them are now made in their factories in mainland China.


PUTATIVE TIGERS

  • Indonesia

Indonesia (Listeni/ˌɪndəˈnʒə/ or /ˌɪndˈnziə/), officially the Republic of Indonesia (Indonesian: Republik Indonesia), is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia comprises 13,466 islands[6] and thirty three provinces. With over 238 million people, it is the world's fourth most populous country, and has the world's largest population of Muslims. Indonesia is a republic, with an elected legislature and president. The nation's capital city is Jakarta. The country shares land borders with Papua New Guinea, East Timor, and Malaysia. Other neighboring countries include Singapore, Philippines, Australia, and the Indian territory of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Indonesia is a founding member of ASEAN and a member of the G-20 major economies. The Indonesian economy is the world's eighteenth largest economy by nominal GDP and fifteenth largest by purchasing power parity.

The Indonesian archipelago has become an important trade region since at least the 7th century, when Srivijaya and then later Majapahit traded with China and India. Local rulers gradually absorbed foreign cultural, religious and political models from the early centuries CE, and Hindu and Buddhist kingdoms flourished. Indonesian history has been influenced by foreign powers drawn to its natural resources. Muslim traders brought Islam, and European powers brought Christianity and fought one another to monopolize trade in the Spice Islands of Maluku during the Age of Discovery. Following three and a half centuries of Dutch colonialism, Indonesia secured its independence after World War II. Indonesia's history has since been turbulent, with challenges posed by natural disasters, corruption, separatism, a democratization process, and periods of rapid economic change.

Across its many islands, Indonesia consists of distinct ethnic, linguistic, and religious groups. The Javanese are the largest—and the politically dominant—ethnic group. 

Indonesia has developed a shared identity defined by a national language, ethnic diversity, religious pluralism within a majority Muslim population, and a history of colonialism including rebellion against it. Indonesia's national motto, "Bhinneka Tunggal Ika" ("Unity in Diversity" literally, "many, yet one"), articulates the diversity that shapes the country. Despite its large population and densely populated regions, Indonesia has vast areas of wilderness that support the world's second highest level of biodiversity. The country is richly endowed with natural resources, yet poverty remains widespread in contemporary Indonesia. Read more

  • Malaysia

Malaysia (Listeni/məˈlʒə/ mə-lay-zhə or Listeni/məˈlsiə/ mə-lay-see-ə) is a federal constitutional monarchy in Southeast Asia. It consists of thirteen states and three federal territories and has a total landmass of 329,847 square kilometres (127,350 sq mi) separated by the South China Sea into two regions, Peninsular Malaysia and Malaysian Borneo. Land borders are shared with Thailand, Indonesia, and Brunei, and maritime borders exist with Singapore, Vietnam, and the Philippines. The capital city is Kuala Lumpur, while Putrajaya is the seat of the federal government. In 2010 the population exceeded 27.5 million.
Malaysia has its origins in the Malay Kingdoms present in the area which, from the 18th century, became subject to the British Empire. The first British territories were known as the Straits Settlements, with the other states forming protectorates. The states on Peninsular Malaysia, then known as Malaya, was first unified as the Malayan Union in 1946. Malaya was restructured as the Federation of Malaya in 1948, and achieved independence on 31 August 1957. Malaya united with Sabah, Sarawak, and Singapore on 16 September 1963, with 'si' being added to give the new country the name Malaysia. However, less than two years later in 1965, Singapore was expelled from the federation. Since independence, Malaysia has had one of the best economic records in Asia, with GDP growing an average 6.5% for almost 50 years. The economy has traditionally been fuelled by its natural resources, but is expanding in the sectors of science, tourism, commerce and medical tourism.

The head of state is the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, an elected monarch chosen from the hereditary rulers of the nine Malay states every five years. The head of government is the Prime Minister. The government system is closely modelled on the Westminster parliamentary system and the legal system is based on English Common Law. The country is multi-ethnic and multi-cultural, factors that influence its culture and play a large role in politics. Although Islam is the official religion, freedom of religion is protected by the constitution.

Malaysia contains the southernmost point of continental Eurasia, Tanjung Piai, and is located near the equator and has a tropical climate. It has a biodiverse range of flora and fauna, and is considered a megadiverse country. It is a founding member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, and a member of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Commonwealth of Nations, and the Non-Aligned Movement. Read more

  • Thailand

Thailand (play /ˈtlænd/ ty-land or /ˈtlənd/; Thai: ราชอาณาจักรไทย Ratcha Anachak Thai, or ประเทศไทย Prathet Thai IPA: [râːt.tɕʰā ʔāːnāːtɕàk tʰāj] ( listen)), officially the Kingdom of Thailand and formerly known as Siam (Thai: สยาม; RTGS: Sayam), is a country located at the center of Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the west by the Andaman Sea and the southern extremity of Burma. Its maritime boundaries include Vietnam in the Gulf of Thailand to the southeast and Indonesia and India in the Andaman Sea to the southwest.

The country is a kingdom, with most recorded reigns in the world; a constitutional monarchy with King Rama IX, the ninth king of the House of Chakri, who has reigned since 1946, making him the world's longest-serving current head of state and the longest-reigning monarch in Thai history.The king is officially titled Head of State, the Head of the Armed Forces, an Upholder of the Buddhist religion, and the Defender of all Faiths.

Thailand is the world's 50th largest country in terms of total area (slightly smaller than Yemen and slightly larger than Spain), with a surface area of approximately 513,000 km2 (198,000 sq mi), and the 21st most-populous country, with approximately 64 million people. The largest city is Bangkok, the capital, which is also the country's center of political, commercial, industrial and cultural activities. About 75% of the population is ethnically Thai, 14% is of Chinese origin, and 3% is ethnically Malay;the rest belong to minority groups including Mons, Khmers and various hill tribes. The country's official language is Thai. The primary religion is Buddhism, which is practiced by around 95% of all Thais.

Thailand experienced rapid economic growth between 1985 and 1995 and is a newly industrialized country with tourism, due to well-known tourist destinations such as Ayutthaya, Pattaya, Bangkok, Phuket, Krabi, Chiang Mai, and Ko Samui, and exports contributing significantly to the economy.There are approximately 2.2 million legal and illegal migrants in Thailand.Thailand has also attracted a number of expatriates from developed countries. Read more


ASIAN DRAGON

  • China

China (Listeni/ˈnə/) is seen variously as an ancient civilization extending over a large area in East Asia, a nation and/or a multinational entity.


With nearly 4,000 years of continuous history, China is one of the world's oldest civilizations.Prior to the 19th century, it possessed an advanced economy; but successive dynasties missed the Industrial Revolution that occurred in Europe and China began to decline.In the 19th and 20th century, European and Japanese imperialism, internal weakness and civil war damaged the country and its economy, and led to the overthrow of imperial rule. In 1949, after major combat in the Chinese Civil War had ended, two states calling themselves "China" emerged:


In the 1950s, change to economic policies in Taiwan transformed the island into a technology-oriented industrialized developed economy after a period of high growth rates and rapid industrialization. Meanwhile, mainland China, under Mao's rule, remained underdeveloped and striken with famines, natural disasters and disastrous CPC-led political campaigns that caused millions of deaths. In the 1970s, reforms led by Deng Xiaoping, known as the Four Modernizations, improved agriculture, industry, technology and defense, raising living standards and making the PRC one of the great powers. By 2011 challenges included the growing divide between rich and poor and environmental degradation.
Historically, the cultural sphere of China has extended across East Asia as a whole, with Chinese religion, customs, and writing systems being adopted to varying degrees by neighbors such as Japan, Korea and Vietnam. Through its history, China was the source of many major inventions. It has also one of the world's oldest written language systems. The first evidence of human presence in the region was found at the Zhoukoudian cave. It is one of the earliest known specimens of Homo erectus, now commonly known as the Peking Man, estimated to have lived from 300,000 to 780,000 years ago. Read more


(Source: Wikipedia)

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