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Contemporary Sino-Japanese relations






100% coursework






English-medium elective

Contemporary Sino-Japanese Relations is a course specializing in the study of one of the most intriguing sets of bilateral relations in East Asia: Sino-Japanese relations. The overall theoretical approach of the course is interdisciplinary in nature and draws heavily from the discipline of history and international relations. The course aims to provide the students with an understanding of how geopolitics and regional processes are complexly interlinked with the fate of these two nations since the industrial revolution brought to Western powers to East Asia. It examines the evolution and experimentation by Japan and China the philosophies and ideas that have underpinned the political and economic systems during the different eras. Departing from their feudal systems, Japan and China flirted with republicanism, liberal democracy, capitalism authoritarianism, imperialism, colonialism, militarism and nationalism before engaging each other in a protracted and disastrous conflict that lasted for several decades. The course then examines contemporary Sino-Japanese relations broadly conceived. Students are introduced to topics by means of two broad survey lectures, and are invited to examine in greater detail, the various controversial topics within this set of bilateral relations. It examines the following themes from the perspective of Sino-Japanese relations: legacy of history (e.g. textbook writing, disposal of chemical weapons, wartime apologies), nationalism and identity, the Pinnacles (Senkaku/Diaoyu) Islands dispute, the Taiwan issue, the Korean Peninsula crisis and the competition for energy sources between China and Japan.


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