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    Critical analysis of the foreign policy of the People’s Republic of China since its foundation in 1949.

    Whether the issue is human rights, the environment, economic or military power, China’s foreign policy  is increasingly important to the discussion. What derives China’s foreign policy? Is it ideology? Or is it material power? Why has the US-China relationship deteriorated in recent years?  What should New Zealand’s policy be toward China? We explore these and other interesting questions in this paper.  

    About this paper

    Paper title Chinese Foreign Policy
    Subject Politics
    EFTS 0.15
    Points 18 points
    Teaching period Semester 1 (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $981.75
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    18 200-level POLS points
    Schedule C
    Arts and Music
    An interest in national and international affairs is an advantage.
    Teaching staff

    Associate Professor Nicholas Khoo

    Paper Structure

    This paper is divided into three sections. In the first section, students will be introduced to the alternative theoretical perspectives that are used to analyse China's international behaviour. The second section will focus on China's foreign policy during the Cold War (from 1946-1991). Attention will be paid to China's relations with the Soviet Union, the United States, and states in Asia. For section three, which deals with the post-Cold War era (1991-present), we will focus on the evolution of Sino-U.S. relations and China's relations with states on its periphery: specifically, Northeast Asia and Southeast Asia. We also explore the increasing salience of internal challenges for China’s foreign policy, reflected in the issues surrounding and Hong Kong, Xinjiang, and Tibet. 


    There are no textbooks for this paper. Readings will be available in electronic format in eReserve.

    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Scholarship, Critical thinking, Research.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes

    Students who successfully complete this paper will gain:

    • An understanding of the major events and turning points in Chinese foreign policy since 1949
    • An appreciation for the alternative academic interpretations of China as an actor in the international system since 1949


    Semester 1

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    A1 Thursday 10:00-11:50 9-13, 15-22


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    Attend one stream from
    A1 Tuesday 13:00-13:50 12-13, 15-16, 19, 21
    A2 Wednesday 14:00-14:50 12-13, 15-16, 19, 21
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