PS 346 China in World Politics

The course begins with the extraordinary rise of the People’s Republic of China after a new leader, Deng Xiaoping, takes power and opens China to the world market. It focuses on China’s maritime reorientation in response to political challenges from 1989 to 1993, when China had to begin importing oil.

The course then explores how ruling groups in China’s Communist Party imagine their and China’s futures. These ruling groups seeks to maintain the authoritarian CCP political system and to return China to civilizational centrality. The consequence of a new ruling group with new goals combined with awesome capabilities which flow from China’s economic rise allows China to fundamentally alter the regional and global balances of power, creating new challenges and opportunities, especially for China’s neighbors. All countries and regions are compelled to re-think how to respond to China’s sustained and rapid rise.

Using diverse international relations approaches, the course, after covering Chinese policy in all the regions of the world, asks what all of the tremendous changes brought by the rise of China portend for China’s and the world’s futures. The course concludes by exploring diverse forecasts of those futures in an age in which the PRC will most likely become the world’s largest economy.