Contemporary Perspectives on Chinese Foreign Policy 2009

(Xas140/Xas240, East Asian Studies Ait354A, Political Science/World Politics M425)

Anyone who wishes to understand 21st century world politics needs to engage the China question. The course exemplifies the current trends of Chinese foreign policy by dealing with e.g. the China Threat Theory and its responses, the Taiwan question, China as a regional power in East Asia, China and globalization, economic interdependence and WTO, relations of China and Japan, China and the EU and China and the US. Current political issues of 2009 will also be discussed.

The central aim of the course is to show the interdependence of domestic and foreign politics and economic and political issues. Course material will consist of academic articles (to be announced later) and the book New Directions in the Study of China’s Foreign Policy, edited by Alastair Ian Johnston and Robert S. Ross (2006). In addition to examination and participating actively to discussion, students are asked to write an essay of an optional topic related to China’s foreign policy.

Course Schedule

Time and Place
20.1. – 26.2.2009, Tue 14–16 U38 D112 and Thu 10–12 U38 A132

20.1. National identity and China's foreign relations
- overview of the course
- course requirements
- theoretical viewpoint: Chinese national identity as a base to interpret China's foreign relations
- the problems in defining 'foreign' and 'domestic', 'global' and 'international'
- situation of Chinese IR theory
- reading: Gries, Peter H. (2005): Social Psychology of the Identity Conflict Debate: Is a ‘ China Threat’ Inevitable?, European Journal of International Relations, vol.11, no.2, 235–265

22.1. CCP's foreign policy guidelines
- historical background to Chinese diplomacy
- policies and principles defining Chinese foreign policy
- institutions executing foreign policy
- theoretical viewpoint: Chinese perception of state sovereignty
- 'harmonious world' in contemporary Chinese foreign policy discourse
- reading: Constitution of the Communist Party of China: General Program
+ Blanchard, Jean-Marc F. & Guo, Suijian (2008): “Harmonious World” and China’s New Foreign Policy in “Harmonious World” and China’s New Foreign Policy, Lexington Books (copy given in class)
- links: Government White Papers
Constitution of the People's Republic of China
PRC Government Structure

27.1. The economy and foreign policy
brief general outlook on Chinese economy
China and international economic cooperation: China in the WTO
China's currency reserves
trade and trade deficit debates with the US and EU
- China and global depression
- theoretical viewpoint: economic interdependence and its effect on the political arena
- reading: Blanchard, Jean-Marc (2008): Harmonious World and China's Foreign Economic Policy: Features, Implications, and Challenges, Journal of Chinese Political Science, vol.13, no.2, 165-192
- links: Asian Development Bank (2008): Asian Development Outlook 2008, Economic Trends and Prospects in Developing Asia, People's Republic of China,
China Stock Markets Web,
the People's Bank of China
China trade extra (headlines on current trade topics)

29.1. The China threat theory
- theoretical viewpoint: balance of power theory and China's rise
- China's armed forces: a brief military outlook
- reading: Ikenberry, John (2008): The Rise of China and the Future of the West, Foreign Affairs, vol.87, no.1, 23–37
links: Pentagon's annual report to congress on China's military power (2008)

3.2. Security situation
- Taiwan and North Korea
- Shanghai Cooperation Organization
- the Six Party Talks
- theoretical viewpoint: concept of security
- reading: Robert S. Ross (2006): Comparative Deterrence – The Taiwan Strait and the Korean Peninsula, in New Directions in the Study of China’s Foreign Policy, edited by Alastair Ian Johnston and Robert S. Ross
- links: Shanghai Cooperation Organization

5.2. Energy issues and foreign policy
- foreign relations with African countries
- environmental issues, energy consumption and foreign policy
- students inform teacher about their essay topic
- reading: Charlese Ziegler (2006): The Energy Factor in China’s Foreign Policy, Journal of Chinese Political Science, vol.11, no.1
- links: Sino-African Summit, Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, China-Africa Business Council , Transparency International

10.2. Human rights and foreign policy
- ethnic separatism in China
- Tibet
- Western human rights views meet the Chinese counterparts
- reading: Zhu, Yuchao & Blachford, Dongyan (2005): Ethnic minority issues in China’s foreign policy: perspectives and implications, The Pacific Review, vol.18, no.2
- links: UN Human Rights Council

12.2. China- EU relations, China-US relations
- EU's Asia Strategy
- EU-China summits
- trade vs. promotion of human rights
- reading: Balme, Brian (2008): A European Strategy Towards China? The Limits of Integration in Foreign Policy Making, in Balme, Richard and Bridges, Brian (2008): Europe-Asia Relations: Building Multilateralisms

17.2. China-India relations, China in international organizations
- Sino-Indian War 1962 + border disputes
- China and India: competitors?
- China in UN, UN Security Council
- ASEAN + 3
- Chinese perceptions of international cooperation
- reading: Cooper, Andrew & Fues, Thomas (2008): Do the Asian Drivers Pull their Diplomatic Weight? China, India, and the United Nations, World Development, vol.36, no.2
- links: ASEAN
UN Security Council

19.2. China-Japan relations and the history controversy
- historical events affecting China-Japan relations
- Diaoyu/Senkaku islands
- history book controversy and Japanese patriotic education
- Yasukuni Shrine and commemorating the war dead as a foreign policy dispute
- economic interdependence
- theoretical viewpoint: 'other' as an ontological necessity
- reading: Qiu, Jin (2006): The Politics of History and Historical Memory in China-Japan relations, Journal of Chinese Political Science, vol.11, no.1, 25-53 (NB in University of Helsinki e-resources see Chinese Journal of Political Science)
- links: Yasukuni Shrine official webpages

24.2. China and the world: future perspectives
- brief revision of the course
- no reading material
- list of questions given in class

26.2. Exam (lecture material + articles)


1) Lectures

2) Exam (3 cr)
- Lecture material
- Articles

3) Essay (2 cr)
-Can be written in English, Finnish, Swedish or French
- Length 10 to 12 pages (Times new roman, font 12, 1,5 line spacing)
- Academic references (see The Chicago Manual of Style or in Finnish: valtio-opin laitoksen tutkielmanteon tukisivut, kohta Lähteet)
- Material distributed during the course can be used as references
- Important to specify a (theoretical) perspective to the selected theme and to define it narrowly enough (try to avoid topics such as "China and the World")
-Deadline the 10th of March (bring a paper copy of your essay to Elina Sinkkonen's locker at the Renvall Institute, Unioninkatu 38A, first floor, common room)

© 2009 Elina Sinkkonen