Trends in Soft Power in East Asia: Distance, Diversity and Drivers

Kai-Ping Huang and Bridget Welsh discuss trends in soft power for Global Asia’s In Focus section, themed “Battle for Influence: Perceptions in Asia of China and the US”.

The battle for soft-power supremacy among Great Powers in East Asia holds some surprises as China’s influence is not gaining in ways commensurate with its rising power and the US just holds steady despite its greater engagement in the region. These are among the findings in the last two waves of the Asian Barometer Survey (ABS), which asked respondents to name a “model” country to emulate, write Kai-Ping Huang and Bridget Welsh. Among the winners are Japan and Singapore, while domestic governments in the region lose favor with their citizens.

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