Ever since the concept of soft power was introduced, there has been debate about what it is and how it works. We join the debate by studying how the success of Korean cultural products in Taiwan has improved the relationship between South Korea and Taiwan. The two countries normalized their relationship in 1948 and maintained cooperation until the severance of formal ties in 1992 because of South Korea’s rapprochement with China. Beginning in early 2000, however, South Korea’s cultural products have enjoyed great success in Taiwan. Since that time, the relationship between the two countries has significantly improved, including trade and tourism expansion, increased Taiwanese direct investment in South Korea, and policy changes by Taiwan’s government. These changes provide empirical evidence of soft power.
The Impact of the Korean Wave on South Korea–Taiwan Relations: The Importance of Soft Power
Sung Deuk Hahm is Chairman of the Korea Institute of Presidential Studies. He previously taught at Korea University and Georgetown University. His research interests include international political economy, the Korean presidency, and industrial policy. Email: <email@example.com>.
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Sung Deuk Hahm, Sooho Song; The Impact of the Korean Wave on South Korea–Taiwan Relations: The Importance of Soft Power. Asian Survey 1 April 2021; 61 (2): 217–240. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/as.2021.61.2.217
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