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There is little doubt that China will be a significant power in the 21st century. The question is what kind of global actor will it be? This two-part case (presented in a single document) takes a comprehensive look at China's extraordinary rise in economic, military and diplomatic terms, and provides historical perspective on China's relationships with neighboring countries as well as the United States.

Part B of the case immerses students in one of the most important geopolitical tests China faces today--its conflicts in the South China Sea--and includes commentary from experts on China's seemingly contradictory goals in the region.

Learning Objective:

This two-part case (presented in one document) is designed to help students:

Analyze and understand how China became a regional and global power - economically, diplomatically, and militarily.

Examine contemporary Chinese leaders' conceptions of China's national purpose and consider how these conceptions shape or influence China's role in its region and in the world.

Other Details

Case Author:
Anjani Datla
Faculty Lead:
Arne Westad
Pages (incl. exhibits):
Funding Source:
Joseph B. Tompkins, Jr. Fund for Case Study and Research