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China and the Global Political Economy


Admission requirements

Successful completion of Modern Chinese Economy and Development (BA2)


In this course, we explore China’s dynamic role in the global economy since the ‘reform and opening up’ in 1978. China’s economic rise in the reform era is associated with its rapidly growing external economic relations. It has established links with various actors in the international economic regime including foreign states and other foreign public actors, multinational enterprises, regional economic mechanisms, and international organizations.

Examinations of these links help us acquire a comprehensive understanding of China’s economic development in the international context as well as its increasing impacts on the rest of the world. It also reveals China’s role in the global governance of various issue areas, including exchange rate, sustainable development, climate change, digital economy and society and public health.

The course specifically focuses on China’s role in the global political economy in the era of regionalization and globalization. It discusses the Chinese engagement in the international trade, investment and development finance regimes. It also particularly explores China’s economic relationship with the US, its role in the Asian regional economy, its increasing links with the African continent and its ambitious expansion via the Belt and Road Initiative. Finally, the course assesses China’s institutional strategies and role in multilateral economic governance.

Course objectives

The students are expected to learn the origins, processes and implications of key events of China’s external economic relations. They should develop skills of critical analysis of Chinese economy in the international context and China’s external economic relatios. In particular, they should develop capabilities to search for academic literature, news articles, opinion pieces, government documents, official databases and other relevant secondary sources for their assignments, and to use qualitative and quantitative analytical methods to process the abovementioned material. They should develop skills of academic debate, research design and academic writing.


The timetables are avalable through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

Seminar: the instructor will give an interactive lecture in the first half of the seminar. The students are required to discuss multiple questions that are related to each week’s topic for the rest of the seminar. The students must complete the required readings and prepare for the seminar questions before class.

Assessment method


  • 20% Attendance and seminar discussion

  • 30% Short essay

  • 50% Final essay


See above.

The final grade is given on the basis of all three components above. Failure to participate in a component cannot be compensated through the others.


The time and format of resit will be confirmed later.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

The Reading list will be uploaded on Brightspace before the course starts.


Enrolment through My Studymap is mandatory.


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: Vrieshof


The course uses Brightspace for announcements, course documents, and assignments.