This essay focuses on the political, economic, and cultural history of five Asian Tigers – Hong Kong, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Taiwan. I search for historical and modern influences on their rapid economic transformations in the past seven decades. I discuss their settlement and cultural history, the rise, accomplishments, and fall of early kingdoms, colonial rule (British in Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Singapore, Spanish and American in the Philippines, and Dutch and Japanese in Taiwan ), and political and economic changes since independence. I wrote these lectures for a Seabourn cruise in 2001.
I begin with Hong Kong and discuss British colonization, economic evolution, and the transition to China. For Malaysia, I focus on how Britain colonized and developed the country and which exports led its rapid growth. I then look at why the Philippines has lagged behind the other Asian Tigers by examining the legacies of Spanish, American, and Filipino rule. For Singapore, I discuss the impacts of British colonization, Singapore’s expulsion from Malaysia, and how modern Singapore grew rich. Lastly, I examine economic change in Taiwan – under Qing Chinese, Japanese, and Taiwanese rule. I append a time line, a bibliography, and a description of sites that I visited in Hong Kong, Malaysia, The Philippines, Singapore, and Taiwan.
Voyage from Singapore to India, Aboard the Clipper Odyssey, Singapore, Malacca, Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia,
A Cruise in East Asia, Aboard the Silver Whisper, Silversea Cruises, Silver Whisper, Hong Kong, China, Taipei and Kaohsiung, Taiwan, Aboard the Seabourn Sun, Cebu City and Manila, The Philippines