Chinese Foreign Policy

Course Description

Covering the history and analysis of Chinese foreign policy from the inception of the People's Republic of China in 1949 to the present, this course aims at providing the student with a sufficient factual base, alternative theoretical approaches, and some of the methodological tools found useful in studying Chinese foreign policy. Emphasis is placed on the external and domestic determinants of Chinese foreign policy, Sino-American and previous Sino-Soviet relations, the changing nature of China's relations with her Asian neighbors in the context of a newly emerging East Asian regional system. Special attention will be given the debate on “the rise of China,” and its economic, political and military implications for the region and the world. At its conclusion, the student will hopefully be ready to do useful research and writing in this field, be capable of integrating his/her learning in this course with that derived from other areas of international relations and more general knowledge of modern China, and be able to form intelligent opinions on questions of national policy dealing with Asia in general and China in particular. 

This course falls within the International Relations subfield.


A background in Chinese politics or modern history (POLISCI 143A, B, C or D, History 13B or a similar course) and/or a background in international relations theory is highly recommended.