HIST 345

U.S.-China Relations in the 20th Century: The Era of the Chinese Civil War and the Korean War

The waning months of the Chinese Civil War were critical in setting the future course of U.S.-China relations. With the defeat of the Nationalists and Communist victory all but certain, both nations set about warily trying to sound out the other's intentions. Chinese leaders assumed that the U.S. would now back away from supporting the vanquished side, and State Department personnel made the decision to stay on in embassies and legations as the new regime established itself. Students in this course examine three things: Sino-American relations during the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries; parallel Chinese history during the same period; and the United States' role in the Chinese Civil War during 1946-1950. Students explore the question of whether or not there might have been an opportunity for better, if not normal, working relations during this early period. Students also consider the future unification of Taiwan with the Mainland'the last unfinished act of the Chinese Civil War'and the implications for Sino-American relations in the 21st century.