PS 468/PS 568: The International Politics of East Asia

Prof Mel Gurtov
Office: 650D Urban Affairs Building
Telephone: (503) 725-5974


Office Hours: Mon., 2-4; Tue., 1-2 and by appointment

Course objectives:

The course examines the sources, content, and objectives of the foreign policies of China (including Taiwan and Hong Kong), Japan, the two Koreas, and the ASEAN states.  Our primary interests are the domestic political and historical foundations of foreign policy, emerging issue of cooperation and conflict, the political economy of East Asia, and the new security context of Asia-Pacific politics brought about by the end of the cold war, economic reforms in the socialist countries, globalization, and the "war on terror."

Texts: Please purchase the following --

M. Lampton, ed., The Making of Chinese Foreign and Security Policy
S. Kim, ed., International Relations of Northeast Asia
M. Yahuda. The International Politics of Asia-Pacific
(B. C. Koh, ed., North Korea and the World - distributed to graduate students)


(1) Consistent attendance and reading of required materials; (2) research paper, due Feb. 21; (3) midterm exam, Feb. 7; (4) comprehensive final examGraduate students are expected to do additional readings (*) and write two ten-page papers (one due Feb. 14, the other at the last class) besides meeting the above requirements.

Please take note: Students are responsible for being aware of the date and time of the final examination, and making preparations to take it then.  Only in exceptional circumstances will a final exam be given at another time.  Likewise, the grade of I (incomplete) will only be given in extraordinary circumstances, and then only if the student has attended class regularly and completed all other assignments. Late papers are accepted until the final class, with penalty in proportion to lateness.)

Overheads: Asia after the Cold War, The Cold War in Asia, Sources of Foreign Policy in East Asia, Major Issues in Asia Pacific, Legacies of History, China and Multilateralism, Factors Shaping China's World Outlook, Interdependence under Deng and Jiang, Foreign Policy Decisionmaking: From Vertical to Horizontal Authoritarism, China's Zhoubian Diplomacy in the 1990's, The Three U.S.-China Communiques And The Taiwan Relations Act, Major Asia-Pacific Regional Associations


Lecture Sequence: ( * indicates readings for graduate students available from me)

  Weeks 1-2 Introduction: The Transformation of East Asia
  Readings Yahuda, part I.
Kim, ch. 1
Lampton, ch. 7
*Quansheng Zhao, Chinese Foreign Policy, ch. 1
*E. Vogel, ed., Living with China, Introduction & ch. 3

Legacies of history; end of the cold war; new meanings of security; changing international relationships.

  Weeks 3-5 China: The Shaping of World Outlooks

Yahuda, ch. 6
Kim, ch. 2
Lampton, chs. 1-3, 5-6
*Mao Zedong, Selected Readings, pp. 85-133, 371-86
*Zhang & Austin, eds., Power and Responsibility in Chinese Foreign Policy, chs. 1-2
*Suisheng Zhao, "China's Pragmatic Nationalism"

  Topics Domestic and external sources of Chinese world view; foreign policy since 1949; impact of economics reforms and interdependence; relations with US and USSR/Russia.

Steve Chan, East Asian Dynamism; E.O. Reischauer, The Japanese Today; John Fairbank, The Chinese World Order; A. Iriye, Across the Pacific; J. Gittings, The World and China, 1922-72; D. Zagoria, The Sino-Soviet Conflict; O.E. Clubb, China and Russia; R. Medvedev, China and the Superpowers; I. Kim, ed., The Strategic Triangle; A. D. Barnett, China and the Major Powers in East Asia; G. Segal, Sino-Soviet Relations After Mao

    China's Regional and Global Relationship
  Readings: Yahuda, ch. 10
Kim, ch. 11
Lampton, chs. 8, 9, 11
*Deng Xiaoping, Fundamental Issues, selections beginning pp. 1-18, 67, 72, 83, 86-92, 97, 116, 171, 180
*Zhao, Chinese Foreign Policy, ch. 7 
*Zhang and Austin, eds., Power and Responsibility, chs. 6 and 9
*Alice Ba, "China-ASEAN Relations"

Revolution in Chinese foreign policy; China & Asia-Pacific multilateralism; the military and the "China threat"; PRC view of China-Japan rivalry.


M. Schaller, The U.S. and China in the Twentieth Century; Wang Gungwu, China and the World Since 1949; John Garver, Foreign Relations of the PRC; H. Harding, ed., China's Foreign Relations in the 1980s; P. Van Ness, Revolution in Chinese Foreign Policy; M. Gurtov & B.M. Hwang, China Under Threat; R. Sutter, Chinese Foreign Policy; A. D. Barnett, China's Economy in Global Perspective and The Making of China's Foreign Policy; Samuel Kim, ed., China and the World; Andrew Scobell, China’s Use of Military Force


Conference, “On the Brink: The Koreas in 2006,” at PSU Feb. 16 from 1-4:30 PM.  Attendance required.

  Weeks 5-6 Security Issues: Korea, Taiwan, SE Asia

Yahuda, chs. 4 and 9
Kim, chs. 8-10, then 6-7
*Lampton, chs. 10, 12
*Koh, North Korea and the World, chs. 1, 3, 5-6
*Council on Foreign Relations, Meeting the North Korean Nuclear Challenge


North-South Korean relations and the unification issue; S. Korea and the major powers; regional security problems (incl. Taiwan) and cooperation; the nuclear issue; ASEAN.


A. Amsden, Asia's Next Giant; D. Oberdorfer, The Two Koreas; F.C. Deyo, ed., The Political Economy of the New Asian Industrialism; D.S. Macdonald, The Koreans (contains good general bibliography); B.C. Koh, The Foreign Policy Systems of North and South Korea; Han Sungjoo and Yong-nok Ku, eds., The Foreign Policy of the ROK; Bruce Cumings, Origins of the Korean War (2 vols.); K. Oh and Ralph Hassig, North Korea Through the Looking Glass; M. Hart-Landsberg, The Rush to Development; B. Cumings, Korea's Place in the Sun; Y. Kihl, Korea and the World; M. Clifford, Troubled Tiger, Richard Bush, Untying the Knot (Taiwan Strait).

  Weeks 7-8 Japan's Foreign Policy

Yahuda, chs. 7, 11
Kim, chs. 4-5
*Y. Soeya essay in Alagappa, ed. Asian Security Practice
*Y. Funabashi essay in Foreign Affairs (Winter 1990/91)
* R. Tanter, "With Eyes Wide Shut," in Gurtov & Van Ness, eds., Confronting the Bush Doctrine
*Cohen & Pei, "A Vicious Sino-Japanese Cycle of Rhetoric"

  Topics-1 Origins of foreign-policy passivity; Japan's cautious international involvement; schools of thought in Japanese foreign-policy circles; economic diplomacy
  Topics-2 Security issues; US-Japan relations; Japan's regional policies in Asia; trade, investment, and aid policies and practices 

A good general bibliography is in Mikiso Hane, Modern Japan: An Historical Survey; W. LaFeber, The Clash; M. Schaller, The American Occupation of Japan; R. Scalapino, Foreign Policy of Modern Japan; E. Vogel, Japan As Number One; Chalmers Johnson, MITI and the Japanese Miracle; R. Ozawa, Multinationalism, Japanese Style; M.E. Weinstein, Japan's Postwar Defense Policy; S. Islam, Yen for Development; D. Okimoto, Japan's Economy; P.J. Katzenstein & N. Okawara, Japan's National Security; Gerald Curtis, ed., Japan's Foreign Policy After the Cold War; Kenneth Pyle, The Japanese Question;  Ellen Frost, For Richer, For Poorer (Japan-US);  C. Prestowitz, Trading Places; K. Calder, Strategic Capitalism; E. Lincoln, Japan's Global Role; John Dower, Embracing Defeat; Chae-Jin Lee, China and Japan

  Weeks 8 -10 Asia-Pacific Cooperation: Regionalism and Regionalization
  Readings Yahuda, ch. 8
Kim, ch. 11
China: Lampton, ch. 4
* M. Gurtov, "The Bush Doctrine in Asia"
* International Crisis Group, "Northeast Asia's Undercurrents of Conflict"
* J. Shinn, ed., Fires Across the Water
  Topics Regionalism and regionalization in Asia's economies; Greater China; the "Asian Way" and security issues; environmental cooperation and role of NGOs; U.S. policy: a question of relevance
  Recommended Natl. Comm. on US-China Relations, The Emergence of "Greater China"; H. Kapur, China and the EEC and The End of An Isolation; Harry Harding, China's Second Revolution; N. Lardy, China's Entry Into the World Economy; Eric Ramstetter, Direct Foreign Investment in Asia's Developing Economies; Ezra Vogel, The Four Little Dragons and One Step Ahead in China; S. Shirk and Twomey, Power and Prosperity; J. Shinn, ed., Fires Across the Water; M. Gurtov, Pacific Asia?; Malcolm Chalmers, Confidence-Building in South-east Asia.

Instructions for Papers

1. Topic:  Choose any topic within the scope of the course.  Check with me to make certain your choice is appropriate.  Possibilities include: (1) Bilateral relations within East Asia (incl. Southeast Asia); (2) regional and sub-regional security, economic, or other organizations; (3) national security perspectives, problems, and policies of East Asian states; (4) trade, investment, and aid issues for one or more countries; (5) East Asia relations with the United States; (6) region-wide issues (e.g., environment, commerce, human rights, migration, energy); (7) comparison of cold-war with post-cold war conditions in Asia Pacific; (8) origins and nature of international conflict in the region.

2. Approach: It is important that your essay be first and foremost a foreign-policy analysis and not merely a description of events.  Clarify the purpose of your paper in the first paragraph. Fulfill that purpose in your conclusion.

3. The Paper: 6-8 pages (10-12 for grad students), using a minimum of 6 sources (10 for grad students, including primary sources).  You may cite the course texts, but they will not be counted among your sources.  The Internet may be used for official documents, newspapers, and published, signed scholarly articles. Do not use news magazines such as Time or Newsweek, but do use scholarly periodicals (see the separate guide) and well-informed media such as Far Eastern Economic Review, Nikkei Weekly, Asahi Shimbun, and New York Times and Washington Post.

4.  Citing sources:  Use any consistent form for citing sources: footnotes, endnotes, in-text notes.  A bibliography is not needed; include relevant information (author, article and journal or book title, and page numbers) in your notes.  See your texts for proper foot/end note style. Cite all your sources, but none other. Regarding Internet sources, identify specific reports or papers within the URL, not just the basic URL address.

5.  Check spelling, punctuation, and grammar.  A sloppily written paper will count heavily against you. Don't forget to title and paginate your essay.  12-point font, please. 

6.  Do not rely too heavily on any one source.  Avoid lengthy quotations from sources; paraphrase instead.

7. Questions?  I'm here; and I would like to see each of you at some time during your research.

Sources for Up-to-Date Information in English on East Asia

  Scholarly Periodicals

Far Eastern Economic Review.  Weekly, Hong Kong.
Also publishes Asia Yearbook (annual), China Trade Report (monthly), and Review 200: Asia's Leading Companies (annual).
Asian Survey (monthly, U.S.)
China Quarterly (quarterly, UK)
China Journal (quarterly, Australia)
Asian Perspective (quarterly, S.Korea and U.S.)
Journal of Contemporary Southeast Asian Studies
Journal of Northeast Asian Studies
Pacific Affairs (quarterly, Canada)
U.S.-China Business Review (monthly, National Comm. on US-China Relations)


Newspapers in English on-line

Asahi Shimbun, Nikkei Weekly (Tokyo)
Asia Wall Street Journal.
Korea Herald, Korea Times (Seoul)
China Daily (Beijing)
South China Morning Post (Hong Kong)
NAPSNet daily news roundup via e-mail (subscribe free at
China News Daily (US) daily PRC and Taiwan news via e-mail (subscribe free)

Documentary and Statistical Sources


China Documents Annual (ed. Peter Moody) and China Facts & Figures Annual (ed. John Friske).  Academic International Press.
Asian Development Outlook (annual) and Key Indicators of Developing Asian and Pacific Countries.  Asian Development Bank, Manila.
World Development Report.  Annual from World Bank, Washington, DC.
WorldWatch Institute, papers and State of the World annual on environment, energy, and resource issues.