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Strong Society, Smart StateThe Rise of Public Opinion in China's Japan Policy$
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James Reilly

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780231158060

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231158060.001.0001

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A Potent Populism

A Potent Populism

(p.157) 5 A Potent Populism
Strong Society, Smart State

James Reilly

Columbia University Press

This chapter examines policy debates over China's relations with Japan from 1997 through 2008, highlighting interactions between elite policy advisors and the public. It combines analysis from 218 academic articles together with numerous Chinese writings from the decade that reveal the emergence of a subtle but significant shift in Chinese experts' views of Japan. Four elements stand out: (1) growing recognition that China's own actions can exacerbate a security dilemma with Japan; (2) acknowledgment of the costs of negative popular sentiments toward Japan; (3) a more nuanced view of Japanese society and politics; (4) and increased confidence in China's future power position through Japan. The chapter delves into this shift. Since the turn of the century, a new group has emerged as an important player in shaping Chinese foreign policy—the public. Through the use of various media such as the internet, the Chinese public have become far more informed, assertive, and engaged in foreign relations.

Keywords:   China, Japan, policy advisors, public, anti-Japanese sentiments, Japanese society, Japanese politics, Chinese foreign policy, internet

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