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Regular version of the site
Bachelor 2020/2021

Chinese Politics Part 2 – China and the World

Type: Elective course (Asian and African Studies)
Area of studies: Asian and African Studies
When: 4 year, 4 module
Mode of studies: distance learning
Open to: students of all HSE University campuses
Instructors: Elena Soboleva
Language: English
ECTS credits: 3

Course Syllabus


This course is tailored for students majoring in Asian studies, who specialize in political and economic development of East Asia. The aim of this course is to familiarize students with the foreign policy and external relations of the PRC since 1978 – the beginning of the reforms and opening up - till 2016. In particular, this course focuses on the impact of world politics on China’s internal development: economy, regional balances, bureaucracy and political authority in coastal areas. Students will also learn about how international relations have been affected by a rising China which seeks resources and talent from all around the globe and uses its financial wealth to strengthen its position in the world. Finally, the course looks at various aspects of China’s “going out strategy” — its search for energy, talent, as well as its relations with the United States and the states within the Asia-Pacific region. The prerequisites for the this course include courses “Introduction to Political science”, “History of East and Southeast Asia,“ “Chinese Politics Part 1 – China and Political Science” and English language of B2 level. The course sets a background for the further studies of China’s contemporary foreign policy and international relations in East Asia. The course is conducted in a blended format. Students study the lecture materials online themselves at home and discuss selected issues during the seminars in the classroom.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • To give students an overview of China’s foreign policy and external relations 1978-2001.
  • To acquaint students with links between international relations and China’s internal development.
  • To develop students' skills in application of theoretical models to the analysis of foreign policy of the PRC.
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Able to work with information related to the foreign policy of the PRC: find, evaluate, systematize and use information necessary for solving scientific and professional problems from various sources.
  • Describes major foreign policy changes in China between 1978 and 2016 (e.g. China’s opening to the world), their reasons and consequences.
  • Prepares scientific and analytical reports, reviews, presentations, information briefs and explanatory notes on the issues of political development in the PRC.
  • Uses the conceptual apparatus of International Relations discipline, critically analyses the information related to Chinese external relations.
  • Explains how a rising China has influenced international relations.
  • Communicates in English on topics related to politics and governance in the PRC.
  • Describes the main patterns and trends in China’s relations with different regions of the world.
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Online component
    The discipline is taught in a blended format. For modules 1-6 students have to self-study online course “Chinese Politics Part 2 – China and the World” in English language on the Coursera Platform [coursera.org] https://www.coursera.org/learn/chinese-politics-2. The course developer is the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.
  • Module 1: China’s Opening to the Outside World, 1978-2000
    1.1: Explaining China’s Opening to the World, 1978-2000: “Second Image Reversed” and “Relative Prices” 1.2: Explaining China’s Opening to the World, 1978-2000: Linkages, Leaders and Models 1.3: Visualizing China’s Opening: From Autarky to Mercantilism 1.4: Applying the Model to China’s Opening 1.5: Case Study: Rural Joint Ventures and the Local Alliance with International Capital 1.6: Case Study: China’s Decision to Join the World Trade Organization
  • Module 2: China’s Changing Relations with the World, 2000-2016
    2.1: International Structure: Realism and Constructivism 2.2: International Political Economy and National Power 2.3: Domestic Politics, Leadership and Foreign Policy 2.4: Sino-US Relations: The Most Important Bi-lateral Relationship in the World 2.5: Sino-Japanese Relations 2.6: Sino-Russian Relations 2.7: Relations with Taiwan and Hong Kong 2.8: China’s Regional Ties 2.9: China and ASEAN 2.10: China and the Korean Peninsula 2.11: China and Central Asia: The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Seminar 1: Chinese Foreign Policy: Domestic interests and Forces. Preliminary topics for discussion: 1) Explain the impact of various domestic interests on China’s foreign policy 2) How have these interests changes over time and why? 3) Explain the impact of various domestic forces (foreign policy actors) on China’s foreign policy 4) How have these forces changed over time and why?
  • Module 3: China’s Global Search for Energy and Resources
    3.1: Going Out for Energy and Resources 3.2: China’s Energy Anxiety 3.3: China’s Strategies to Resolve Energy Anxiety 3.4: Key Chinese Actors in Energy Diplomacy and Their Roles 3.5: Key Actors Outside the Government 3.6: Case Study: Iran – Balancing Energy Needs and Support for Non-Proliferation 3.7: Case Study: Angola – Dealing with an Independent, Neutral and Tough Partner 3.8: Case Study: Australia – Energy Diplomacy with a U.S. Strategic Ally 3.9: Case Study: Australia’s Quixotic Policy Towards China – Trade’s Strategic Significance Seminar 2: China’s Global Search for Energy and Resources. Preliminary topics for discussion: 1) How has China tried to address energy security? 2) What are the key actors involved in China's energy diplomacy? What are their roles? 3) What implications have China's strategy had for other states and their relations with the PRC?
  • Module 4: China’s Global Search for Talent and Technology, 1978-2016
    4.1: What Can States Do? 4.2: Explaining China’s Success 4.3 The History of the Policy 4.4: Improving Policy After Tiananmen 4.5: Bringing the Party Back In: The 1000 Talents Program (2002-2008) 4.6: The 1000 Talents Program 4.7: Evaluating 1000 Talents Policy and its Limits 4.8: Case Study: Academics and Universities 4.9: Academics and Universities: Current Reforms 4.10: Case Study: Scientists and the Chinese Academy of Sciences 4.11: The Need for Reform at the Chinese Academy of Sciences 4.12: Case Study: Entrepreneurs and the Municipal Governments 4.13: Entrepreneurs, Technology and the Search for Shortage 4.14: Case Study: The Diaspora Option – Serving China from Abroad Seminar 3: Diaspora and immigration policies of the PRC. Preliminary topics for discussion: 1) How has immigration to China evolved? What is the background and motivations of foreigners coming to China? 2) Why and how has China adapted its policies to a growing number of foreigners? 3) What is the connection between national security and China's immigration policy?
  • Module 5: China’s Rise and the World
    5.1: External Influences on Chinese Foreign Policy Behaviour 5.2: The Role of China’s Leaders in China’s Rise 5.3: Domestic Politics and Its Influence on Chinese Foreign Policy 5.4: From a Political Economy Perspective, is China’s Rise Changing the World? 5.5: Problems of Misperceptions 5.6: Can China Rise Peacefully? Seminar 4: Perspectives of China’s Leadership in the World. Preliminary topics for discussion: 1. How has China's rise changed its role in international institutions? 2. How and why has China’s rise changed its policy towards peripheral states?
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Exam
    The exam is a written test with different types of questions: multiple choice, questions with open answer, etc.
  • non-blocking Tests on required literature
    Lecturer evaluates students' comprehension of assigned readings by conducting a short test with multiple choice questions and questions with open answer. The component is calculated as an average grade achieved for all tests. If a student is not able to attend the seminar due to illness or any other legitimate reason (relevant document should be provided), he/she is not graded for that seminar. In all other cases students are graded with 0 for the test they have missed.
  • non-blocking Online component
    Students have to self-study an online course at the Coursera platform: Chinese Politics Part 2 – China and the World https://www.coursera.org/learn/chinese-politics-2. In order to get grade for the online course, students have to take four Quizes, fulfill one peer-reviewed assignment and take a final test (all on Coursera platform). The grade for online course is calculated in % by Coursera.
  • non-blocking In-class participation
    Lecturer evaluates students’ progress, including comprehension of online lectures and assigned readings, as well as contribution to discussions. The component is calculated as an average grade achieved on all seminars. If a student is not able to attend the seminar due to illness or any other legitimate reason (relevant document should be provided), he/she is not graded for that seminar. In all other cases students are graded with 0 for the seminar they have missed.
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (2 module)
  • Interim assessment (4 module)
    0.4 * Exam + 0.2 * In-class participation + 0.2 * Online component + 0.2 * Tests on required literature


Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Liu, H., & van Dongen, E. (2016). China’s Diaspora Policies as a New Mode of Transnational Governance. Journal of Contemporary China, 25(102), 805–821. https://doi.org/10.1080/10670564.2016.1184894
  • Patey, L. (2017). Learning in Africa: China’s Overseas Oil Investments in Sudan and South Sudan. Journal of Contemporary China, 26(107), 756–768. https://doi.org/10.1080/10670564.2017.1305489

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Sautman, B., & Yan Hairong. (2008). The Forest for the Trees: Trade, Investment and the China-in-Africa Discourse. Pacific Affairs, 81(1), 9–29. https://doi.org/10.5509/20088119
  • Yan, X. (2014). From Keeping a Low Profile to Striving for Achievement. Chinese Journal of International Politics, 7(2), 153–184. https://doi.org/10.1093/cjip/pou027
  • Zhao, S. (2008). China’s Global Search for Energy Security: cooperation and competition in Asia-Pacific. Journal of Contemporary China, 17(55), 207–227. https://doi.org/10.1080/10670560701809460