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POLS318 Chinese Foreign Policy

POLS318 Course outline

This course describes and critically analyzes the foreign policy of the People's Republic of China since its foundation in 1949. It is divided into separate sections that focus on: theoretical perspectives used in the study of China's international relations; Chinese foreign policy during the cold war and post-cold war era; China's behaviour with respect to specific functional issues in the international arena; and China's relations with specific sub-regions on its periphery.

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

Paper title Chinese Foreign Policy
Paper code POLS318
Subject Politics
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period Second Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $886.35
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $3,766.35

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18 200-level POLS points
Schedule C
Arts and Music
An interest in national and international affairs is an advantage.
Teaching staff
Dr 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, as well as China's increasing engagement with the international system, particularly since 1997. Particular attention will be paid to China's relations with states on its periphery: specifically, Northeast Asia and Southeast Asia.

There will be five 1-hour tutorials students will be expected to attend.


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

Course outline

View a sample course outline for POLS 318. (Students taking this paper should refer to blackboard for the current course outline)

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

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Second Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Monday 12:00-13:50 28-34, 36-41