Interactions between two economic and military superpowers—China and the US—are likely to shape much of world history in the twenty-first century. How is the U.S. responding to the emergence of a second superpower and shifts in the balance of power? How will China wield its growing economic and political influence on the international stage?
This course seeks to provide perspective on the challenges that each country faces in managing the relationship over the next decades. To provide background on the preconceptions, grievances, and aspirations each party brings to the relationship, we begin with a quick overview of the history of U.S.-China relations in the last century. We then proceed to survey current issues and their implications for the relationship by focusing on selected topics, including the issues surrounding trade, investment, intellectual property rights, security arrangements, Taiwan, Korea, human rights, environment and energy.
The course also assesses the impact of third countries on the strategic relationship, especially those we will visit on this voyage: Japan, Vietnam and other ASEAN countries, India, and the countries of Africa.
In all cases we will strive to represent the variety of points of view that exist on both sides of the bilateral U.S. – China relationship.
Multimedia resources and field studies will be utilized to complement readings and class discussions.
Field ClassDay: 2 in Yokohama - Monday, 26 January and Day 1 in Shanghai - Tuesday, 03 February
We will have a split field lab for this course, half day in Yokohama, and half day in Shanghai: Part I. Trilateral Relations between U.S.-China-Japan (Yokohama) Part II. Exploring the dynamics of U.S.-China relations with a U.S. diplomat (Shanghai) In Yokohama, we will meet US diplomats from the Embassy in Tokyo, listening to their interpretation of the trilateral relation among US, Japan and China. We will visit the Yasukuni shrine, the highly controversial place and very important in understanding the Sino-Japan relation. In Shanghai, we will meet a US Consular officer. She will be able to provide first-hand accounts of the intricacies of Sino-American relations during her term of service. We will go to visit the Bund, which is a key site of Sino-American historical interactions. Academic Objectives: 1. Explore American and Japanese views on U.S.-China relations in the Asia-Pacific region, especially on the trilateral relations in the East China Sea controversy. 2. Observe the evidence of historical interactions, acquire better understanding about the history of U.S. - China relations, how different notions of that history lead to misunderstandings, how Chinese memories of the century of humiliation color the relationship. Topics for Yokohama visit 1. East China Sea issue with respect to territorial claims, air defense areas, undersea resource exploitation, and how the U.S. is involved in these China-Japan issues. 2. Sino-Japanese war issue. There are also issues like the textbook issue, Yasukuni shrine visits, revising the Japanese constitution with respect to funding the military. 3. How have these issues influenced the Sino-Japan relation and how will it evolve into the future? Topics for Shanghai visit 1. As for Shanghai, we won't have read much about the economic issues at this point in the voyage, but more about the history of U.S. - China relations, how different notions of that history lead to misunderstandings, how Chinese memories of the century of humiliation color the relationship, different perceptions of the intentions of the two countries, and how domestic politics in each country affects the relationship. And more important, how given these obstacles, the diplomats and businessmen build working relationships that can ride out the rough patches? 2. Will China rule the world in the 21st century? As a well-established superpower, how does America view China’s growing power in both economic and political senses? 3. The American government has declared a strategy of “Back to Asia-Pacific”since 2009 (‘pivot to asia’). How will it impact the Sino-American relations in the future, including the role of other Asian countries and regions, like Japan, Taiwan, Korea, and ASEAN?