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This subject examines contemporary issues in contemporary international relations and the policy issues they raise. It draws on the expertise of prominent foreign academic and practitioner visitors to the School of Social and Political Sciences and reflects one or more of the School's core research areas and policy concerns.
January 2018: China’s Foreign Policy: A Chinese Perspective
Professor Pan Zhongqi, School of International Relations and Public Affairs, Fudan University, Shanghai, China
With the historical rise of China, China’s foreign policy and international behaviour have been hotly debated in both policy and academic circles. Key questions have been raised and approached generally from a western perspective. These include how China handles its border and maritime disputes with neighboring countries, how China’s foreign policy principles and initiatives have been proposed and implemented, whether China will become a revisionist state or a status quo power in the dynamic regional and global orders, how China manages its relations with major powers in the world, and what role China will play in global governance. Various IR theoretical perspectives have attempted to provide answers to these and related questions, but there is little agreement among western analysts. This subject will provide an alternative Chinese perspective on these issues. It will begin with an exploration of the Chinese way of thinking, and distinguish it from western approaches. In addition to contending IR theories, the distinctive Chinese way of thinking will a fresh perspective that will help to decipher China’s otherwise puzzling foreign policy. To better understand China’s international engagement, this subject will examine key issues including China’s foreign policymaking mechanism, new foreign policy initiatives such as One Belt and One Road, China’s regional engagement, China’s handling of land border and maritime disputes, China’s relations with major powers such as the US, China’s position towards international order, and China and global governance.
Intended learning outcomes
On completion of this subject students should:
- be able to demonstrate a specialist understanding of the subject being studied;
- show a good capacity to communicate research in written form;
- have developed the analytical skills to evaluate the core issue of the subject;
- have an awareness of the contemporary theoretical debates in the subject;
- be able to demonstrate an ability to undertake critical independent research.
On competion of this subject students should:
- develop effective oral and written communication skills;
- display aptitude for theoretical analysis;
- ability to apply research skills to a specific area of inquiry.
Last updated: 3 November 2022