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China on the World Stage: Weighing the U.S. Response
Eleventh edition. December 2012.
China is on track to become the world's largest economy in the twenty-first century and is rapidly increasing its military strength. At the same time, the social, political, and economic forces of China's transition create uncertainty for the country's future. This curriculum unit explores the history of U.S. relations with China and prepares students to advocate different options for U.S. policy towards China in a simulation set in the U.S. Senate.
The readings prepare students to consider the policy choices facing the United States. Student will survey the history of U.S. interactions with China and explore the economic, social, and political dimensions of China's transformation.
The Choices Role Play
The four policy options in the Role Play are grounded in a clearly defined philosophy about the U.S. role in the world and China's direction in the next decade or two. By exploring a broad spectrum of alternatives, students gain a deeper understanding of the competing values and assumptions that frame the debate about U.S. policy towards China.
Looking at China
Students analyze photographs of present day China to learn about Chinese life and society. Students consider the benefits and limitations of using photographs as a source for learning about China.
Art and Politics: Ai Weiwei
Students analyze a work of art by Ai Weiwei. They consider his response to the situation in China and explore the idea of censorship.
Looking at the Tank Man
Xu Wenli and the China Democracy Party
Using multiple sources, students examine the basics of the conflict across the Taiwan Strait.
U.S. and Chinese Perspectives
Using multiple sources, students evaluate language for tone to gain a better understanding of different perspectives on U.S.-Chinese relations.
Role-Playing the Four Options
Working cooperatively to present different policy options for the United States to an undecided group of senators, students are able to clarify and evaluate alternative policies toward China.
Tracking China's Future
Armed with historical knowledge and a sense of their own values, students deliberate the options presented. They articulate coherent recommendations for U.S. policy and defend their views in a letter to a newspaper or a member of Congress.