The United States and China

The United States and China are global economic and military powers.  They have a rich history of commerce, friendship, alliance, and antagonism. Both countries have been shaped and re-shaped by the nature of their mutual relations. Their relationship is in crisis, the outcome of which will do much to define the world of the 21st century. 

This University-wide course invites undergraduates and graduate students to examine together the present and future of U.S.-China relations in the light of their past. What are the enduring patterns and issues in China’s relations with the United States? How have these two countries perceived each other over time? How has trade defined the relationship from the Opium War to Huawei? How has war shaped experiences in the United States and China, and what are the risks of military confrontation today? What are the prospects for cooperation on global crises such as climate change? What is the role of American and Chinese universities, such as Harvard and Tsinghua, in shaping mutual relations in a time of global pandemic?

The course emphasizes active, participant-centered discussions of major issues, texts, and contemporary events, and will engage with Harvard Business School cases, experts on the U.S.-China relationship, and the rich resources of Harvard’s schools and the Harvard Center Shanghai.  In their final project, students, working in groups, will address a central challenge in the Chinese-American relationship and propose a solution.

This course has an enrollment cap, so to be considered, you must request permission to enroll and rank your choices through my.harvard by 11:59 p.m. Tuesday, January 19, 2021. The Gen Ed lottery will run Wednesday, January 20, 2021, with approvals and denials sent out no later than 11:59 p.m. that day. Visit the Spring 2021 Gen Ed web page for more information and step-by-step instructions.

You are expected to attend class synchronously weekly at the time listed above. You are also expected to attend a weekly TF-led synchronous section meeting that will be based on your preferences and scheduled after the enrollment deadline.

This is a University course. All students should enroll in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences version of the course, GENED 1068.