How China is winning the soft power battle across East Asia.

How China is winning the soft power battle across East Asia.

Issue: Sept-Oct 2006

With the United States preoccupied by war and nuclear threats in the Middle East and an array of problems elsewhere, a quiet revolution is underway in East Asia as the region adjusts to the reemergence of a great power: China.

The changes underway signal nothing less than the political equivalent of shifting tectonic plates that, over time, will produce a region far more integrated within itself, far more closely connected with China, and--virtually by definition--more distanced from America. Some say that the way events are headed, Beijing will eventually develop a position of dominance with the countries of Southeast Asia similar to the U.S. relationship with Latin American states--a first among equals, the nation whose voice invariably carries the day as much due to its disproportionate size as the validity of its argument.

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