GEOG 236/SISEA 236 Development and Challenge in Greater China

Course Description: This is a broad foundation course of an important region of the world the Greater China, comprising mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. Development in mainland China in the last quarter century has brought about one of the biggest improvements in human welfare anywhere at any time; yet the country is also beset by many difficult problems that threaten to disrupt stability and derail economic development. Many Chinas issues are of global concern but they are often not well understood. This course helps students gain an understanding of this complex Asian power through studying the geography of development and its problems. Mainland Chinas economic development and participation in the global economy are also closely linked to Hong Kong and Taiwan. The course first introduces background on Chinas physical geography, history, and economic and political systems, and then focuses on major geographical issues in China's development: agriculture, population, industry and trade, and economic and political relationships among the three players. The course helps students develop a perspective in understanding of the challenges brought by globalization and internal changes China is facing. Students will complete a short research paper through using online and library materials. No prior background knowledge of China is required.


List of Topics:

1. Introduction

2. Physical Landscape and Regions

3. Historical Context

4. Politics and Economics

5. Agricultural Systems and Reforms

6. Population Dynamics

7. Economic Integration of the Greater China

8. Challenges Ahead