||History of Sino-European Relations
||This course is designed for PKU undergraduate and visiting students. No previous knowledge of Cold War history or of the Chinese language is required to take this course.
||This course analyses Cold War points of connection between a divided and weakened Europe and the progressive multi-polarization of the international system based on the growing importance of Asia and especially China. Europe and China were undoubtedly the most important third actors in the Cold War system. Being territorial entities and political and economic spaces located at the crossroads of the mutual spheres of action of the two superpowers, they played a key role in the evolution and reshaping of the bipolar system and the creation of the contemporary system we live in today. This course aims to attribute a balanced historical position to the role played by Sino-European relations in these crucial passages. It attempts to reach an accurate assessment of this relationship by analyzing the development of bilateral relations within the complex framework of the Cold war structure and the superpowers dominion within it. Therefore, it looks at the bilateral relations between China and the individual European countries not simply per se but as a segment of a complex matrix of relations ordered by the hierarchy imposed by the superpowers hegemony. An objective historical evaluation of the function that these segments produced in the transformation of the Cold War hierarchies has yet to come. This course aims to fill this gap by providing PKU undergraduate students with a unique analytical tool to decipher the evolution of Sino-European relations from the Cold War until today.
||Mao's China and the Cold War,Chen, Jian,Chapell Hill and London: University of North Carolina Press,2001,The Idea of Europe: From Antiquity to the European Union,Pagden, A.,Journal of Contemporary China, 14(42),2005,The Sino-American Normalization: A Reassessment,Fardella, Enrico,Diplomatic History, Vol. 33, No. 4,2009,Evolution and Revolution: Sino-Hungarian Relations and the 1956 Revolution,Vamos, Peter,Cold War International History Project Working Paper 54,2006,Thirty Years of Sino-British Relations: A Foreign Office View,Howe, Christoper,The China Quarterly 13,1994,Playing the China Card?: Revisiting France’s Recognition of Communist China, 1963-1964,Martin, Garret,Journal of Cold War Studies 10, no. 1,2008,Business with Beijing, Détente with Moscow: West Germany’s China Policy in a Global Context, 1969-1982,Albers, Martin,Cold War History 14, no. 2,2014,Sino-European relations in the Cold War and the Rise of a Multipolar World,Fardella, Enrico and Christian Ostermann, & Charles Kraus,Washington D.C.: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars,2015,A significant periphery of the Cold War: Italy-China bilateral r e l a t i o n s , 1 9 4 9 – 1 9 8 9,Fardella, Enrico,Cold War History online,2016,Why Europe and the West? Why not China,Landes, David,The Journal of Economic Perspectives, Vol. 20, No. 2,2006,A sea of opportunities: China’s growing presence in the Mediterranean region,Fardella, Enrico and Constatine Pagedas,Mediterranean Quarterly special issue 2015, Vol. 26, No. 1,2015,
||This course aims to attribute a balanced historical position to the role played by Sino-European
relations in these crucial passages. It attempts to reach an accurate assessment of this relationship
by analyzing the development of bilateral relations within the complex framework of the Cold war
structure and the superpowers dominion within it. Therefore, it looks at the bilateral relations
between China and the individual European countries not simply per se but as a segment of a
complex matrix of relations ordered by the hierarchy imposed by the superpowers hegemony. An
objective historical evaluation of the function that these segments produced in the transformation of
the Cold War hierarchies has yet to come.
This course aims to fill this gap by providing PKU graduate students with a unique analytical tool to
decipher the evolution of Sino-European relations during the crucial decades of the Cold War.
1) Europe: the creation of an idea
2) Sino-European relations in the Modern Era
This section will focus on the evolution of the contacts between China and Europe in the Modern
Era and it will address the literature behind the notion of ‘Great Divergence’ as a linking
intellectual tool to discuss the historical process that validated the notion of modernization as a
European category of progress that eventually moved Eastward in 19th and XXth century China.
3) Sino-Eastern European relations: the Polish and Hungarian cases
This section will start with a conceptual overview on Sino-Eastern European relations from 1950s
to the end of 1980s and then will analyze two text cases, namely Sino-Polish and Sino-Hungarian
relations, focusing on their evolution after the Sino-Soviet split in 1960s and 1970s.
4) Two curious relationships: Sino-Romanian and Sino-Albanian relations
5) Sino-Western Europe relations: the Sino-British case
In this segment the teacher will introduce the role of Sino-Western European relations within the
broader spectrum of the Cold War. It will then take the Sino-British case as a useful model of
Western ambiguity towards the PRC in the 1950s and the political pressure instilled within the
Western European countries by the allure created by Chinese commercial potential.
6) Sino French relations
The normalization of diplomatic relations between France and China was the crossroads between
two separate historical courses: the ascent of the People`s Republic of China as it sought for a new
sphere of influence and autonomy in the international system and the decline of a European colonial
power like France, which found it difficult to adapt to the demise of the Euro-centrism of the postwar
era. As Malraux prophetically said during his trip to China in 1965, "300 years of European
energy are fading while the Chinese era begins."
Sino-French normalization had a profound symbolic result: it signalled the beginning of a new
socialization between China and the West, a socialization driven this time by Beijing’s proud search
for independence in international relations.
7) Sino-German (DDR-FRG) relations
In this week the course will touch upon China’s curious relationship with DDR and FRG both in the
Cold War context in 1950s and then in the crucial decade of 1960s vis-à-vis the Sino-Soviet split.
The 1970s will be taken in particular consideration as the decade of the OStpolitik and the Helsinki
Process and the beginning of intra-European détente whose effect deteriorated China’s posture in
8) Sino-Italian relations (1945-1992)
In this section the teacher will offer a broad description of Sino-Italian relations from the founding
of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1949 to the normalization of diplomatic relations in
1970. The analysis is divided into three parts. It begins with an appraisal of the connection between
the “lost opportunities” for normalization in 1949, 1955 and 1964 and the structure of the Cold War
system. Following that is a discussion of the shift in China’s domestic and foreign policy in the
second half of the 1960s as the key factors enabling renewed Sino-Italian engagement in the
morphing context of the Cold War. Finally, the class will illustrate how Italy and the PRC, “third
actors” in the Cold War system, seized a delicate window of opportunity to forge a diplomatic
compromise of significant international import
9) The torment of Tantalus: Europe and China in the age of crisis
Tantalus myth will be used as metaphorical explanatory key to analyze Europe and China’s
temptations and dissatisfactions in an age of critical change of the international system. The
structural and ideological limits of both actors will be discussed in light of their mutual capability to
to cope – individually or cooperatively - with the challenges created by the rapid global
transformations of the last years
48 hours in total, 8 subtopics
1) Introduction: Europe & Asia: from polarity to fusion [02-21; 02-28]
2) China and the Cold War: an overview [03-7; 03-14]
3) Sino-Eastern European relations: the Polish and Hungarian cases [03-21; 03-28]
4) Seminar: Europe and China – trends and prospects in the Belt and Road Initiatives framework [04-19; 04-25]
5) Sino-French relations: revolutionary diplomacy [04-26; 05-02]
6) Sino-Italian relations (1945-1992): the importance of marginality [05-09]
7) Sino-Western European relations: the Sino-British case [05-16]
8) Sino-German (GDR-FRG) relations: a triangular conundrum [05-23]
？ Final exam [06-06]
The students will be evaluated on the basis of the class discussions and one article review written on
one of the topic of lectures 3-8 on the basis of 3 articles chosen by the teacher. The review will
consist of a synthesis of three articles (no less than 2000 words, no more than 2500 words) to be
written in English including a list of the sources used by the author using the citations index
attached at the end of the Syllabus.