In 1990, the Chinese government designated the Pudong (literally, “east of the Huangpu”) district of Shanghai a special economic zone. The area was derelict, unconnected from the city by bridge or road, the land on the muddy banks a backwater of warehouses and, just a decade before that, farmland. Today, just thirty years later, Pudong is densely populated and boasts high-speed trains, one of the most trafficked airports in China, and an almost surreal skyline, including the Shanghai Tower, the second highest building in the world. The growth of Pudong in many ways is a mirror of China’s dramatic rise. It’s a story of mind bogglingly rapid transformation of a society from a failed Maoist revolutionary state to a global economic and military powerhouse. Today, China holds the title of the world’s second largest economy in terms of GDP; by many measures, the Chinese economy is already the largest. Since 1980, an estimated 700 million Chinese people have risen out of extreme poverty—a staggering figure. The country has the world’s largest standing army and navy, and is investing heavily in surveillance, the construction of artificial islands in the South China Sea and a national space program. This course examines the social, military and economic consequences of China’s rise for the world. It will try to answer the questions: What are China’s geopolitical ambitions? Will the country’s ascent be peaceful? What will the Belt and Road initiative mean for the developing world? How will trade policy under the Biden administration shape the important US-China relationship? What is the China Dream? How has Chinese nationalism shaped younger Chinese people’s perspectives about the United States and the rest of the world? Has China already surpassed the United States in defense technology, telecommunications and artificial intelligence? How does the Chinese internet work? Do Chinese tech companies pose a security risk to the United States? What does the example of China’s one-party state mean for Western-style democracies? Are we living in China’s century?