China and Japan have played an important role in the historical and cultural development of East Asia. Being geographically close, they have a long history of political, cultural and economic exchanges, and they have contributed to each other’s cultural and modern transformation. However, despite their common cultural roots, the relations between the two countries are not always amicable and their patterns of development have been vastly different. Since the late 20th century, following the rapid development of China, their relations have grown in quantity and complexity. The unique relationship between China and Japan deserves extensive study. The study and understanding of the essence of the relationship between China and Japan is crucial of importance, not only to the future development of East Asia but to international relations as a whole.
This course aims to offer an overview of the history of Sino-Japanese relations from the ancient to the pre-modern period, i.e. from the pre-Nara period to the Edo period, in terms of political relationships, cultural exchanges, and economic development; and links it to the modern period – to discussions on contemporary issues such as China and Japan’s role in East Asia, their regional rivalry, border issues and history debates, bilateral cooperation regarding North Korea and rivalry in the economic engagement of Africa. Through a multi-disciplinary approach, this course will provide a holistic understanding of the history and contemporary issues of Sino-Japanese relations, including the political, cultural, sociological and economic dimensions.