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HIST3251 China in the Cold War – Part 1 (The Chronology)

Module Overview

Modern Chinese history can arguably not be understood without considering China’s role in the Cold War. Even China’s foreign relations today – for instance its relationship to Russia and to North Korea – are shaped by it. Vice versa, in understanding the Cold War in its global dimensions, it is crucial to look at China’s role in it, since it was an important player that sought to achieve a leadership role next to the two superpowers. This module introduces China’s role in the Cold War. In part 1 (first semester), we will focus on the chronology of the Cold War. Among our themes will be the foundation of the Chinese Communist Party in 1921, the Chinese civil war that caused the tensions between mainland China and Taiwan, the Sino-Soviet friendship and its split, China’s involvement in the Korean and Vietnam Wars, as well as the end of the Cold War.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

To demonstrate general knowledge and understanding of China’s role in the Cold War and of Chinese foreign politics in the 20th century. To explore the foundation of the Chinese Communist Party and its rivalry with the Nationalist Party. To discuss its changing relationship with the Soviet Union. To analyse China's changing status on the international stage.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • Outline how China navigated the Cold War
  • Describe the factors shaping China’s role in the Cold War
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Analyse relevant primary sources
  • Discuss the Cold War in its global dimensions
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Communicating an argument effectively in written form.

Syllabus

Topics to be covered may typically include: The foundation of the Chinese Communist Party The Chinese civil war The Sino-Soviet friendship The Korean War The Sino-Soviet split The end of the Cold War

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Two weekly, two-hour seminars. Student-led presentations on primary sources. Individual tutorials on essays.

TypeHours
Seminar48
Independent Study252
Total study time300

Resources & Reading list

Chen, China’s Road to the Korean War: The Making of the Sino-American Confrontation (New York: Columbia University Press, 1994).. 

Jersild, The Sino-Soviet Alliance: An International History (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2014).. 

Johnson, Peasant Nationalism and Communist Power: The Emergence of Revolutionary China 1937-1945 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1963).. 

Chen, Mao’s China and the Cold War (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2001).. 

Assessment

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (4000 words) 50%
Timed Assignment  (3000 words) 50%

Repeat

MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (4000 words) 50%
Timed Assignment  (3000 words) 50%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (4000 words) 50%
Timed Assignment  (3000 words) 50%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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