China & the World: Empire to Great Power

Subject HIST30072 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2015:

July, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 10-Jul-2015 to 24-Jul-2015
Assessment Period End 17-Aug-2015
Last date to Self-Enrol 13-Jul-2015
Census Date 17-Jul-2015
Last date to Withdraw without fail 07-Aug-2015

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 22 hours of lectures and 11 hours of tutorials.
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Prof Antonia Finnane


Prof Antonia Finnane

Subject Overview:

Through a study of China's international relations, patterns of migration and diaspora formation, and transnational business networks from the seventeenth century to the present, this subject explores the myths of Chinese isolationism and pacific expansion in light of recent scholarship. Topics include the tributary system of international relations, the Qing conquest of inner Asia, East-West trade and communications in the eighteenth century, the Opium Wars, the development of modern diplomacy, Sino-Japanese conflicts, Sino-American relations, the Soviet presence in China, Chinese business networks in Southeast Asia and the Pacific, the Cold War, the open door policy of the Reform Era, China's accession to the WTO, and China's maritime claims. Students will be asked to consider the meaning and implications of key documents on China's international relations history, and reflect on the relationship between historical and present circumstances.

Learning Outcomes:

Students who successfully complete this subject will:

  • be able to describe in broad outline the pattern of change in China’s international relations from the seventeenth century to the present;
  • through independent work show an understanding of sources of knowledge of China’s international history, and how to locate them;
  • display a critical understanding of the variety of approaches to interpreting China’s position in the world, past and present;
  • research a given topic of history in this area of study and present the findings in a way that shows an informed understanding of historical theory and method;
  • present oral and written work, from both teamwork and independent research, capable of persuasively conveying the writer’s view of an aspect of Chinese history in its international or transnational dimension;
  • apply models of interpretation to China’s international position at different periods of its history, and choose between these models on the basis of reasoned argument;
  • evaluate the legitimacy of competing historical claims over sovereignty made by China and its competitors or rivals;
  • locate and assess national and international debates over China's position in the world in the modern era;
  • show and understanding of how China's international relations have been historicized.

Book review (750 words), due Monday 13 July (15%);

Take-home exam (1250 words), due Monday 27 July (35%);

Research essay (2000 words), due Monday 17 August (50%).

Hurdle requirement:

  • Students must attend a minimum of 75% of tutorials in order to pass this subject.
  • All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Note: Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per day; after five working days, no late assessment will be marked. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts:

Subject readings will be available online

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: History

Download PDF version.