China's Century? Nov. 1 - 29, 2011
Is this China's century for economic supremacy? Mercy Corps Action Center's November, Tuesday U seminar led by Dr. Mel Gurtov, tackles the question.
Entitled "China's Century?", this lecture/discussion runs four Tuesday evenings, November 1, 8, 15 and 29, from 7 - 9 pm, at the Mercy Corps Action Center (28 SW 1st Avenue, Portland, Oregon, 97204). For more information call 503-896-5002, option 4, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Registration Fees: $100 (General) for four classes; $85 (Seniors) and $60 (Students).
A television ad that appeared in the fall of 2010 showed a Chinese "professor" lecturing on the decline of empires such as the United States. The ad suggested that the U.S. government is spending the country into oblivion. China will be eating America's lunch, the professor says, at which the students laugh approvingly.
Will it? Are China's leaders simply biding their time while America's star fades as the result of over-extension abroad and political division at home? Or is China so dependent on a stable world economy and so focused on economic development and political stability that it will want to maintain positive relations with the US and the West?
Answering the questions requires investigating both China's domestic and foreign affairs. China's environmental, labor, human rights, resources, and other social and political circumstances drive as well as limit its international activities. Now and for the foreseeable future, China's leaders are likely to put economic development at the top of their priorities, just as all of modern China's leaders have done. At the same time, China's increasing strength and prestige will certainly mean much greater international assertiveness than ever before. But there is no reason to assume that China and the US are on a collision course.
Four-week Course Outline
Week 1- November 1: Many Chinas: Politics and Society in Flux
Problems in the analysis of "China"; strengths and weaknesses of the one-party state; instabilities in society and culture; protest and repression; China's reaction to the Arab Spring.
Week 2-November 8: China's Rise: It's the Economy!
The historic importance of modernization; keys to economic success but is it sustainable? Contradictions of rapid growth; role of foreign capital and markets.
Week 3-November 15: China in the World
China's resource diplomacy; leadership role in the Third World; central place in Southeast Asian affairs; problems with Japan; two-Koreas policy
Week 4-November 29: Sino-American Relations: A Not-So-Smooth Road
The perennial Taiwan issue; common ground and unresolved problems; prospects for direct conflict; multiple layers of engagement; misperceptions on both sides, and how they might be corrected
"China's Century"? is led by Dr. Mel Gurtov, Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Portland State University. He is the author of over 20 books on China, U.S. foreign policy, and other international subjects, and is Editor-in-Chief of Asian Perspective, an international quarterly published in Seoul. Prior to his appointment at PSU, he was a member of the research staff of the RAND Corporation in Santa Monica, California and then was Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Riverside. This course is the subject of research on his next book, tentatively titled "Whose Century? China's Challenge to America."
Mercy Corps Action Center (View)
28 SW First Avenue
Portland, OR 97204
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