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Softpower, Soccer, Supremacy

The Chinese Dream

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Edited By J.A. Mangan, Peter Horton and Christian Tagsold

Xi Jinping’s "Soccer Revolution" is unique: the most extensive politicization and geo-politicization of the Global Game. His purpose is to extend the global softpower projection of "the Middle Kingdom": an ancient Western imperial mantra ("bread and circuses") has been replaced by a modern Eastern "imperial" mantra ("rice and pitches"). The Asian Football Federation shares this "allopathic" vision of East Asian soccer: the future is Asia and it starts in China! Soccer is a talisman for a New Asia in a New Era. For China soccer is a hubristic instrument of softpower projection. Softpower, Soccer, Supremacy: The Chinese Dream makes this point forcefully. In East Asia soccer in now "much more than a game"!

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15 The China Question and Soccer in Australia (David Rowe, Keith Parry and Bonnie Pang)

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15 The China Question and Soccer in Australia

David Rowe, Keith D. Parry, and Bonnie Pang

Introduction: Geopolitics and Football

In the twenty-first century, China became Australia’s largest trading partner (both export and import), and a major (though by no means the largest) investor in the country.1 Following the China–Australia Free Trade Agreement, in operation since December 2015, Australia has become the second largest recipient of Chinese outbound direct investment and China is now one of the country’s top investors.2 Chinese immigration has been prominent in Australia since the mid-nineteenth century, but it is only in recent years that the country (since 1997 incorporating, of course, the former British colony of Hong Kong) has become the largest single source of permanent new migrants to Australia (Parliament of Australia 2017). Australia’s principal strategic ally, the US, is its second largest trading partner, but when two-way investment is taken into account, the US remains Australia’s largest economic partner.3 Australia, is therefore, in various ways caught between the dominant world power and its main imperial rival, while retaining a significant historically conditioned postcolonial linkage with Britain. Its regionally oriented turn towards Asia has also meant that Australia must carefully negotiate multiple relationships with major Asian powers such as Japan, Korea, Indonesia and India, as well as with the 43 other countries of varying proximity and size across the continent. Australia also has affiliations and responsibilities in the western Pacific across Australasia, Melanesia, Micronesia and...

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