Research Groups for Miranda's, Betsy's and Tom's Classes
China Textbook Project Research
____The Communist Party: From the Cultural Revolution to the Present. In 1966 Mao launched China into a disastrous decade of oppressive policies to strengthen Chinese Communism. His efforts to reform the Chinese Communist Party ran amok as students took control of the party destroying the economy, Chinese history, and millions of lives. What are the legacies of the Chinese Communist Party today? How communist is it?
____Chinese Foreign Policy: From the Nixon-Mao Summit to China as World Power. In 1972 the world watched as U.S. President Nixon flew to Beijing to meet with Mao and begin the opening of Chinese foreign policy. Four decades later, China has truly emerged as a world power, as the nation extends its influence in relations with the U.S. and the world. Should the U.S. be wary of China’s growing influence on the world stage?
____Struggle for Democracy: From Democracy Wall to Tiananmen Square to the Nobel Peace Prize. In 1989, millions of students took to the streets – particularly in Tiananmen Square – to protest for democracy, meeting a vicious crackdown from government forces. In the decades since, how have Ai Weiwei, Nobel Peace Prize-winner Liu Xiaobo, and other activists fought for democracy – and how has the Communist regime responded?
____The Economy: From Deng’s Economic Reforms to China as Factory to the world. Following the chaos of the Cultural Revolution, Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping began to make free-market reforms and China’s economy experienced remarkable growth. Today, China’s abundant cheap labor, lax working conditions, & favorable trade policies supply the consumer-driven West and fuel the world economy – but at what cost?
____China’s Power in East Asia: Relations with Tibet, Japan, and North Korea. China has dominated Tibet since the 1950s, though not without controversy. With the Dalai Lama (Tibet’s Buddhist leader) in exile and anti-Chinese protest around the world, who has the right to rule? At the same time, China has a history of tense relations with Japan and has been North Korea’s only ally in the region. How can China reconcile its growing power in the region while not alienating its neighbors?
____Free Speech & Censorship: From the 100 Flowers Campaign to the Great Firewall of China. Since the 100 Flowers Campaign in 1956, China’s government has long suppressed free speech – but this task has grown more complex with the rise of the internet. Undeterred, Chinese officials have created the “Golden Shield” to monitor domestic internet use and the “Great Firewall of China” to block out foreign websites. How can China reconcile its growing capitalist-style economy with its suppression of free speech?
____Special Administrative Regions: Hong Kong & Taiwan. Britain handed Hong Kong over to China in 1997 to create “one country, two systems” in socialist China and capitalist Hong Kong. Meanwhile, Taiwan, home to the Chiang Kai-shek and the Nationalists after the Civil War, now seeks to gain independence and international recognition – against China’s wishes. How can China reconcile these two different regions with its own communist identity?)
____Environmental Challenges: From Mao’s Great Leap Forward to Beijing Smog. In 1958 Mao implemented the Great Leap Forward to rapidly industrialize the Chinese economy. The result: over 20 million deaths and terror and only modest increases in production. Today, with its factories chugging, and a huge population gaining more wealth – and therefore cars – the impact on the environment is tremendous, particularly the air quality. How can China manage its desire to modernize with the harmful effects on the environment?