Soft Power in a Hard Place: China, Taiwan, Cross-Strait Competition and U.S. Policy

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Soft power, like so much else in relations between the People's Republic of China and Taiwan, is asymmetrical and freighted with implications for U.S. policy and U.S.-China relations. For China, soft power largely serves—or strives—to reduce alarm (or at least reaction) among other states concerned about China's new-found hard power or, perhaps more realistically, the hard power that China's economic rise can underwrite. Much of the value for Beijing of soft power is—and is likely to remain for quite some time—its potential contribution to reducing the likelihood that other states will react to China's rising hard power in ways that could threaten China's interests.

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