A)   U.S. overall interests and China

1)    U.S. policies and interests in China in an Asian context

2)    positive equilibrium in U.S.-Chinese relations

3)    the view from Beijing

4)    presentations from the China and Taiwan Desks


B)   introductory foundations

1)    various ways to think about China

2)    China as a Confucian society

3)    China’s geophysical setting


C)  historical background and context

1)    dynastic overview

2)    intellectual traditions

3)    stability and reform in China’s government/bureaucracy

4)    stability and reform in China’s educational system

5)    China in the “modern” world: the Unequal Treaty System (1842-1943)

6)    end of the empire and search for a new political order (1911-1926)

7)    “skin” or “vital organs”?—China’s multiple confrontations (1927-1949)

8)    building a new China (1949 - )


D)  China in the global market

1)    current trade issues and tensions with the US

2)    China and the WTO

3)    problems faced by U.S. investors in China

4)    competition in the cybersphere

5)    “China’s Rise” and the global environment


E)   China’s internal organization

1)    nine fundamental principles of military “modernization”

2)    nuts-and-bolts of the Chinese political system

3)    economic transformation in the period of “opening and reform”

a)    banking and currency-exchange issues

b)    problems of privatization:  State-Owned Enterprises and the individual entrepreneur

4)    the legal system

a)    Story of Qiu Jiu and the “ideal” legal system

b)    legacy of the imperial and Republican periods

c)    constitutional and economic law in China

d)    China in the international legal arena


F)   China as a multi-ethnic society

1)    Tibet: historical context and current situation

2)    Xinjiang: historical context and current situation


G)  China and “human values”

1)    presentations by the Appeal of Conscience Foundation

2)    China’s record on “human rights”

3)    China and the death penalty


H)   Taiwan: the “other” province

1)    legacy of the imperial and colonial periods

2)    problems and successes of “reintegration” since 1945

3)    the “opposition” in control: 2000-2008

4)    current issues and prospects


I)      how China handles challenges and “chaos”

1)    China at war in the 20th century

2)    self-inflicted upheavals:

a)    Great Leap Forward (1958-1960)

b)    Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (1966-1976)

3)    internal political challenges

a)    intellectuals and the state

b)    the “democracy” challenge of 1989


J)    popular culture

1)    keeping track of time in traditional China

2)    festivals and holidays

3)    navigating a guanxi-based society

4)    changing roles of women in the 20th century

5)    individual lives in a group-oriented society

6)    literature and art as a barometer of social tension and change

7)    role of religion and popular beliefs