Overview of Course
Ever since the end of the Cold War the conventional wisdom in International Relations has viewed China as the most plausible future superpower and peer competitor to the United States. Although the nature of the challenge the PRC poses to the United States and the current West-dominated international order is largely viewed in strategic security terms, a more panoramic and broad-based reading of US-China relations reveals a complex web of issue-areas from the environment to the cyber domain to human rights that renders the relationship’s future uncertain and potentially perilous. This course is designed to explore a wide spectrum of perspectives on the most critical issues in contemporary US-China relations, including the Korean war, the Taiwan Strait crisis, China’s first nuclear test, Ping-Pong diplomacy and President Nixon’s visit to China, the Tiananmen Square protests, US pivot to Asia, tensions over the South China Sea, cyber warfare, and rising tensions amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The course has no specific prerequisites and will appeal to a broad audience as it analyzes a broad spectrum of perspectives in the historical evolution of US-China relations.