In 1973, one of the last American commissioners of the Sino-US Joint Commission on the Rural Reconstruction of China, Bruce H. Billings, wrote in his final report on the legacy of the Commission: "Because the Taiwan story is largely a success story, I believe that professionals in the development business should spend time studying the development history of the island
" The success story was the "Taiwan miracle." Since the end of the Chinese Civil War in 1949, Taiwan transformed itself from a former Japanese colony primarily exporting rice and sugar to a "developed" nation with a seven billion USD gross domestic product (GDP) in 1972. Over the course of twenty years, starting in 1950, nominal GDP rose an astonishing 2700%. A large reason for this rapid growth was the development project initiated by the United States and international organizations and carried out by the "professionals in the development business."