GEOG 336 Development and Challenge in China (5)              2004S

Course webpage:


Instructor: Prof. Kam Wing Chan, Smith 424, Office hours: Thursdays 1:30-2:20 pm

            Phone: 206-543-6994; E-mail:

Home page:


Meeting time and place:  T, Th 9:30 am-11:20 pm, Music 213


Course Description: Development in China in the last two decades 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 China’s issues are of global concern but they are often poorly presented in the media. This course helps students gain an understanding of this complex Asian power  through studying the geography of development process and its present problems. With some introductory background on China’s physical geography, history, and economic and political systems, the course focuses on major geographical issues in China's development: agriculture, population, and industry and trade. Students learn about how China has been coping with its population growth and rapid industrialization, and recent challenges brought by globalization and internal changes.  Multi-media presentations and films are used to help students gain a better understanding of the geography of China’s development and an appreciation of the enormous implications for the world. Students will complete a small research project 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. Agriculture

6. Population and Food

7. Industry, Trade, and Greater China

8. Major Challenges Ahead


Assessments: One map quiz, one research paper, and two tests consisting of multiple-choice and short essay questions based on readings and class lectures.


Course Materials:

·         Course reading packet (will be available from RAMS Copies, 42nd and University Way).

·         R Benewick and S Donald, 1999. The State of China Atlas, Penguin ISBN 0-14-051458-9 (available from University Bookstore).

·         Class handouts


Map quiz (15%), April 13, 2004

Test 1 (25%), May 4, 2004; Test 2 (30%), June 3, 2004. Due to the large class size, no make-up or early tests are available except under very special circumstances beyond the control of student.

Research paper (30%), Due: May 20, 2004.


Useful Links

China Material Sources:

Course research project:

Useful Websites for Articles, Information and Data on China: