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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Bradley Murg
POL S 419
Seattle Campus

United States-China Relations

Surveys the history of United States-China relations and examines the evolution of bilateral relations, particularly since 1949. Focus on the period since 1972 and the major issues as they have evolved since that time, including trade, human rights, security, and Taiwan. Offered: jointly with JSIS A 459.

Class description

We will work through the broad outline of Chinese diplomatic history and the US-China relationship from the late Qing era through the Jiang Zemin era. The second half of the course looks at the diverse set of irritants/potential flashpoints in the relationship today: trade/monetary policy, regional relations (ASEAN, Japan, South China Sea, Central Asia), Taiwan, military competition, etc.

Student learning goals

Know the historical development of US-China Relations from the 19th century to the present.

Understand the competing theoretical frameworks framing analysis of Chinese foreign policy.

Understand the diverse drivers of foreign policy development in both China and the United States.

General method of instruction

Students are expected, however, to devote at least 10 hours of concerted effort per week to this course. Careful and timely completion of all assigned readings is essential. Grading is based on class participation and performance on two exams.

Recommended preparation

No prior knowledge of China, international relations theory, or even political science is assumed or required.

Class assignments and grading

Students are expected to devote at least 10 hours of concerted effort per week to this course. Careful and timely completion of all assigned readings is essential as they will serve as the basis for lecture and in class discussion. Students should come to each class with developed questions/critiques of the assigned readings.

Grading is based on class participation (20%) and performance on two exams (40% each).


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Bradley Murg
Date: 02/21/2014