China had the worlds largest economy until the 1880s when it was surpassed by the U.S. From the 1840s to 1940s China experienced a century of economic decline, political disorder, and humiliating foreign invasions. After the 1949 communist revolution, the economy struggled under central planning for almost 30 years before being liberalized under the influence of Deng Xiaoping. Since 1978, the Chinese economy has modernized and grown rapidly. With the rise of its economic strength, China will regain the title of the worlds largest economy and seek to project its political power abroad. Each class will consist of two 30-minute Great Courses video lectures by Richard Baum (UCLA), together with class discussions and current China news. The video lectures will be supplemented by analysis of statements by Chinese leaders, academics, U.S. media, and the Chinese state-controlled media (Global Times, Xinhua, Peoples Daily, etc.).
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