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In international relations today, influence is as essential as military and economic might. Consequently, leaders promote favorable images of the state in order to attract allies and win support for their policies. Jing Sun, an expert on international relations and a former journalist, refers to such soft power campaigns as "charm offensives." Sun focuses on the competition between China and Japan for the allegiance of South Korea, Taiwan, and other states in the region. He finds that, instead of adopting a one-size-fits-all approach, the Chinese and the Japanese deploy customized charm campaigns for each target state, taking into consideration the target's culture, international position, and political values. He then evaluates the effectiveness of individual campaigns from the perspective of the target state, on the basis of public opinion polls, media coverage, and the response from state leaders. A deep, comparative study, Japan and China as Charm Rivalsenriches our understanding of soft power by revealing deliberate image campaign efforts and offering a method for assessing the effectiveness of such charm offensives.
Table of Contents
Introduction: "Peaceful Rise" vs. "Beautiful Japan"
A Short History of Charm in Japan-China Relations
Southeast Asia: Learning to Treat Neighbors as Peers
South Korea: A Suspicious Power Resistant to Charm
Taiwan: Negotiating Self-Identity and Security
Conclusion: The Dynamic Wooing Game
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