Carnegie Mellon University

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US China Relations

Course Number: 84-335

It is commonly argued that the US-China relationship is the single most important relationship that will define global affairs for the remainder of the 21st century. How this relationship is managed and the decisions made by each side will have dramatic implications for the political and economic stability of the world. Some argue that China’s rise portends the inevitability of great power conflict, with little hope for any meaningful cooperation and the substantial risk of military confrontation. Others suggest that while US-China relations are increasingly adversarial, the inherent threats are containable and seek what is termed “competitive coexistence”. Most, however, agree that the era of engagement with the hope for deepening cooperation is now past. This course will chart the evolution of US-China relations, from the founding generation of the United States and the end of the Qing dynasty, through the Chinese civil war and the rise of the CCP, to the warming of relations under US President Nixon and China’s subsequent Reform and Opening period - ultimately setting the stage for an understanding of the current US-China landscape. Throughout this history, we will briefly touch on theories of international relations to help frame our thinking for these periods of history, discuss how to interpret current challenges to this relationship (and whether democratic institutions are an advantage or disadvantage in this competitive environment), and project what may or may not be attainable goals for the decades to come.

Academic Year: 2023-2024
Units: 6
Location(s): Washington, DC

Daniel Hansen

Fall 2023, Mini 1
5:30-8:20 PM

This course is only open to students participating in the CMU/WSP.