IRP300.2 The Greater China: Past, Present and Future (Signature Seminar; Spring)

This Signature Seminar is required for undergraduate Hong Kong Center students. Napoleon described China as a sleeping giant and recommended that it be left sleeping: “For when it wakes, it will shake the world.” The giant is now very much awake and the world is feeling its impact and influence in almost every sphere, from the arts to the economy with demands on world resources and relentless growth in financial resources.

The full seminar course will start from Hong Kong to Xian, Beijing on China Mainland, then Tainan and Taipei of Taiwan for two-week intensive onsite learning, then continuous learning during the Hong Kong semester including field study and lectures on family and gender, environment issues and governance, culture and heritage. Rather than attempting to provide neat explanations, we allow you to experience China first hand. We will see the key physical elements of the China’s past, such as the tomb of the first emperor in Xian, the Great Wall and the Temple of Heaven in Beijing, and the Dutch fort and Japanese influence in Taiwan as well as Taipei Palace Museum for the imperial collections moved from Beijing. We will experience how Chinese culture operates today, visiting factories, offices, markets, restaurants, shops, cultural centers and the places where ordinary people live. We will hear people give us their views, including distinguished academics, foreign correspondents and leading business people. We will practice tai chi and tea culture and will learn about the mysteries of feng shui.

From the soaring skyscrapers that stud the city skylines to the quiet corners where ancient calm can be found we will see for ourselves present day in the Greater China. We will also look into the future. We will see the massive investments that are being made in roads, we will fly from modern airports on some of the newest and smartest aircraft around. Above all, this program will allow you to make up your own mind, through personal experience, about the past, present and future of The Greater China. May also be registered as HUM 300.2.

Department: International Relations

Location: Hong Kong

Semester: Spring

Credits: 3