After examining the rise of the early Korean and Vietnamese societies as discussed in Bentley and Ziegler's Traditions & Encounters, how were the Koreans and Vietnamese influenced by China?

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Bentley and Ziegler sum up the answer to this question in the following sentence from p. 238 of the brief Second Edition of Traditions & Encounters:

…like Korea, Vietnam absorbed political and cultural influence from China and reflected the development of a larger east Asian society centered on China. 

In other words, both Korea and Vietnam had their culture and their politics strongly influenced by China.

Politically speaking, both countries modeled themselves on China.  The Korean rulers followed the Chinese pattern very closely.  They even built a new capital that was based on the Chinese capital.  Both countries had scholars go to China and come back with more Chinese ideas that then spread within the countries.  Both countries adopted (at least to some degree) the Chinese system of examinations for government officials.

Both countries were also affected by Chinese culture.  Both countries became very interested in the Chinese Confucian tradition.  Buddhism also became popular in both countries.  Bentley and Ziegler discuss how the Vietnamese started using Chinese methods of agriculture and irrigation as well as Chinese schools.  The authors do not mention this, but both countries adopted Chinese writing as well.

In these ways and others, both Korea and Vietnam were heavily influenced by China in their politics and in their culture.

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