CCCH9011 China: Culture, State and Society
China’s Rise and Asia’s Future


Course Description

This course examines the rise of China in the 21st century. In order to understand how China’s rise will shape the future of the Asian order and how its role in Asia affects its search for great power status, the course will: (i) examine China’s rise from a comparative perspective by reviewing the rise and fall of the great powers of the past and the subsequent impact on international conflict and cooperation; (ii) explain China’s perspective and strategies in conducting its multi-faceted relations with the Asian region and how China has utilized its growing economic and military resources in its Asian policy; (iii) analyze the perspectives and strategies of the major powers in Asia (such as the US, Japan and other Asian nations) towards an emerging China; and (iv) investigate whether the relations between China and the major nations in Asia have contributed to the prosperity, peace and stability in the region.

Course Learning Outcomes

On completing the course, students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate understanding of China’s perspectives, priorities and strategies in pursuing its multi-faceted relations with the Asian region and how China has utilized its growing economic and military resources in its Asian policy.
  2. Compare and contrast China’s rise with the power transition of other great powers in the past.
  3. Analyze the relations between China and the key players and how China has dealt with several critical issues.
  4. Evaluate the impact of China’s rise on its search for great power status and the future of the Asian region.
  5. Demonstrate leadership and advocacy for achieving peace and prosperity in Asia.

Offer Semester and Day of Teaching

First semester (Wed)


Study Load

Activities Number of hours
Lectures 24
Tutorials 12
Reading / Self-study 30
Assessment: Essay / Report writing 45
Assessment: Group debate (incl preparation) 10
Assessment: In-class test (incl preparation) 30
Total: 151

Assessment: 100% coursework

Assessment Tasks Weighting
Class participation 20
Tutorial discussion 20
Project report 30
In-class test 30

Required Reading

Selected chapters from:

  • Johnston, A. I., & Ross, R. S. (2006). New directions in the study of China’s foreign policy. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
  • Lampton, D. M. (2001). The making of Chinese foreign and security policy in the era of reform, 1978-2000. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
  • Shambaugh, D. L. (2013). China goes global: The partial power. New York: Oxford University Press.

Recommended Reading

  • Kupchan, C. (2001). Power in transition: The peaceful change of international order. Tokyo; New York: United Nations University Press.

Course Co-ordinator and Teacher(s)

Course Co-ordinator Contact
Dr I.J. Sohn
Department of Politics and Public Administration, Faculty of Social Sciences
Tel: 3917 4372
Email: isohn@hku.hk
Teacher(s) Contact
Dr I.J. Sohn
Department of Politics and Public Administration, Faculty of Social Sciences
Tel: 3917 4372
Email: isohn@hku.hk