02.124DH The Modern East Asian Nexus – A History

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In 2012, President Obama called for a “pivot to East Asia” to much fanfare. Chairman Xi Jinping revealed a “One Belt, one Road” a year later.  While students are familiar with such buzzwords, our airwaves are being saturated by numerous talking heads expounding on such issues, what do they really mean? How has this come about? What is the historical back ground for such broad policy doctrines?  Indeed, what shapes the Asia Pacific historically is not well understood. It stands to reason that an elective on the history of International relations in the Asia Pacific- East Asia should be taught in SUTD.

To appreciate these complexities in East Asia IR, students will be introduced to key events, personages, and documents. Students will also be provided with an “inside perspective,” cultivating a detailed understanding, based on current secondary sources, of the evolution of contemporary East Asia. In addition, students will be further guided along theories and concepts that will help them analyze East Asian International Relations history. Finally, students will be familiarized with past and current scholarships on East Asia IR, with due consideration for the debates about the nature of East Asia’s IR historical developments.

Course Requirement

Assessment Percentage
WEC – Class Participation 10
WEC – Oral Presentation 20
WEC – Essay 35
WEC – Final Assignment (Group work) 35

Weekly Schedule

Week 1 – The Dragon and the Rising Sun

Week 2 – The Gospel of Gentility

Week 3 – Sentimental Imperialists?

Week 4 – Becoming “Japanese”?

Week 5 – Pearl Harbour, Japan and Beyond

Week 6 – Emerging from the ashes of defeat

Week 7 – Museum Visit

Week 8 – The Lost Chance in China

Week 9 – The Coldest Winter – Korean war

Week 10 – China’s Foreign Policy- 50s

Week 11 – Brothers in Arms – Sino-Soviet Relations

Week 12 – China & the Bomb

Week 13 – The Vietnam Quagmire

Week 14 – Historical Memory- The Rape of Nanking

Pang Yang Huei