Fall 2024: European, African, and Asian Adventure

HIST 466 U.S.-China Relations Since 1800 [CRN 74069]

Overview of Course

US-China relations are arguably the most consequential bilateral relations in the world today. With China rising and the US in relative decline, a crucial question for the world is whether the two countries can co-exist peacefully in the 21st century. This course provides a rich historical context and diverse scholarly and policy perspectives on this question. International relations concepts and theories such as realism, liberalism, and constructivism will be the primary analytical framework in our studies. We will first study the history of US-China relations and highlight key historical developments, such as the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, US role in foreign domination in China at the turn of the 20th century, and US-China rapprochement in the 1970s.
Our main focus will be on the relations since the 1990s. We will examine closely the current economic, strategic, political, and diplomatic relations. Specific issues we will discuss include the Taiwan question, trade disputes, high tech competition, human rights, the South China Sea, and US-China interactions in global and regional governance. This course will allow students to learn about the policies and perspectives of China and the US on their current relations; and to understand alternative ways of thinking on current US-China relations and US-China peaceful co-existence in the 21st century is possible. As an important component of the course, our studies will also investigate how US-China relations have affected the countries and regions we visit on this voyage.