• Class Number 3186
  • Term Code 3430
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Shuge Wei
    • Dr Shuge Wei
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 19/02/2024
  • Class End Date 24/05/2024
  • Census Date 05/04/2024
  • Last Date to Enrol 26/02/2024
    • Dr Shuge Wei
SELT Survey Results

This course introduces the history of China from Qing dynasty to the end of Cultural Revolution . This period marked some of the greatest triumphs and tragedies of China’s long history: from the glories of the Qing empire to the degradation of famine, internal dissent and foreign invasion. The course pays close attention to the transition of China from a dynasty to a modern state, which involves political reform, military confrontations and social experiment.  It closes by asking how China’s historical experience might help us to understand the challenges facing the country today.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Understand the important events and themes of China's modern history.
  2. Critically summarise and analyse scholarly perspectives on China's modern history and society.
  3. Demonstrate and explain ways to advance scholarly understanding of China's modern history and society.
  4. Examine and review the effect of China's history on its self perception.
  5. Solve a variety of skill-based research tasks individually and in groups.

Required Resources

Recommended textbook: Search for Modern China, by Jonathan Spence

Weekly Tutorial readings

Chu, T'ung-Tsu, Local Government in China Under Ch'ing. Cambridge, Mass: Council on East Asian Studies, Harvard University, 1988: pp. 15-35.

Philip Kuhn, Soulstealers: The Chinese Sorcery Scare of 1768. Harvard University Press, 1990: 119-138.

David Ownby, “Chinese Millenarian Traditions: The Formative Age (in AHR Forum: Millenniums),” The American Historical Review, Vol. 104, No. 5. (Dec., 1999), pp. 1513-1530.

“Chinese Impressions of the West” compiled from Renditions, vol. 51-52.

S.C.M. Paine, The Sino-Japanese War of 1894-1895: Perceptions, Power and Primacy. Cambridge University Press, 2003: pp. 21-61.

Lu Xun, The True Story of Ah Q

Alexander Pantsov, The Bolsheviks and the Chinese Revolution, 1919-1927. University of Hawaii Press, 2000: 53-69.

Fan Hong, “Blueshirts, Nationalists and nationalism: Fascism in 1930s China” in Mangan, J. A. Superman Supreme: Fascist Body As Political Icon : Global Fascism. Sport in the global society. London: Frank Cass, 2000: 205-226.

Mao Zedong, A Report on the Hunan Peasantry, 1928.

Chiang, Yung-chen. 2001. Social engineering and the social sciences in China, 1919-1949. Cambridge University Press, 2001: 136-158.

J. Clayton Miller, “The Drama in China’s anti-Japanese Propaganda” Pacific Affairs 11, 4 (1938): 465-477.

M. Royama, “The South Manchuria Railway Zone, and the Nature of its Administration” Pacific Affairs 3, 11 (1930): 1018-1034.

CR - Liu Shaoqi, 1940; Zhou Enlai, 1945, 1948.

Elisabeth Green, “Crisis in Manchuria” Pacific Affairs 4, 11 (1931): 1005-1013.

S. A. Smith, “Talking Toads and Chinless Ghosts: The Politics of “Superstitious” Rumors in the People's Republic of China, 1961—1965” American Historical Review 2006 111:2, 405-427

A. Z. M. Obaidullah Khan “Class Struggle in Yellow Sandhill Commune” The China Quarterly, No. 51 (Jul. - Sep., 1972), pp. 535-546.

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:
  • Written comments
  • Verbal comments
  • Feedback to the whole class, to groups, to individuals, focus groups

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Week 1: Lecture 1, Introduction and Background
  • Course administration
  • Historiography and some debates
  • Brief history of China to the early ninetieth century
2 Week 2: Lecture 2, Qing China: Cracks in the Porcelain
  • Qing Dynasty administration
  • Signs of decline in early nineteenth century
  • Ethnic tensions and border insecurity
3 Week 3: Lecture 3, Opium Wars and Taiping Rebellion
  • Early contact with the West
  • Trade and diplomacy
  • Political and military significance of Opium Wars
4 Week 4: Lecture 4, Qing China: Self-Strenthening
  • Self-Strengthening movements
  • Reform of 1898 
5 Week 5: Lecture 5, Demise of Qing and the establishment of the Republic of China
  • Boxer Uprising
  • Xinhai Revolution of 1911 and Sun Yat-sen
  • Yuan Shikai and the failure of Republicanism
6 Week 6: Midterm--in class
7 Week 7: Lecture 6, Early development of the Republic of China and the May Forth Movement
  • The reorganisation of Kuomintang (KMT)/Guomindang (GMD) and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)
  • The May 4th Movement
  • Shandong Question
8 Week 8: Lecture 7: Sino-Japanese War and Nationalism
  • Propaganda during the Sino-Japanese crisis
  • Clique politics
  • The rise of Chinese Nationalism
9 Week 9: Lecture 8, Secret societies and war
  • Sino-Japanese War
  • Green Gang in Shanghai
  • Civil War between CCP and KMT (GMD)
10 Week 10: Lecture 9, Civil War and early years of PRC
  • Early 1950 and Korean War
  • Policies and mass movements
  • The Great Leap Forward
11 Week 11: Lecture 10, Maoism and Cultural Revolution
  • Red versus Expert debates
  • Cultural Revolution
12 Week 12: Lecture 11, The end of the Cultural Revolution and the review of the course
  • Death of Mao and the end of the Cultural Revolution
  • General review of the course

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Class participation (seminar and tutorial) 5 % 24/05/2024 26/06/2024 1,3,4,5,6
Book Review 25 % 19/03/2024 20/04/2024 1,2,4,5
Mid-term exam 35 % 27/03/2024 20/04/2024 1,2,3,4,5
Final exam 35 % * 26/06/2024 1,2,3,4,5

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


Participation includes both attendance of seminars/tutorials and engagement in class discussion.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 5 %
Due Date: 24/05/2024
Return of Assessment: 26/06/2024
Learning Outcomes: 1,3,4,5,6

Class participation (seminar and tutorial)

Develop the ability to engage in discussion and think critically. Students are expected to complete reading the tutorial materials before attending the seminar and tutorial every week. The seminar will take an interactive format of teaching.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 25 %
Due Date: 19/03/2024
Return of Assessment: 20/04/2024
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,4,5

Book Review

·    Students could either choose a book from the book review list, or select a book related to the course for a review. 

·      The book review for this course is required to concisely summaries the content of the book and offers a critical assessment of the content. The book review is to demonstrate the student's careful reading and thorough understanding of the book's content.

·       Maximum 1000 words.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 35 %
Due Date: 27/03/2024
Return of Assessment: 20/04/2024
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Mid-term exam

Written in-class exam (week 6): 60 minutes, key questions include matching events and personnel, multiple choices, explaining terms, essay questions.

Assessment Task 4

Value: 35 %
Return of Assessment: 26/06/2024
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3,4,5

Final exam

Written exam during the exam period: 90 minutes; key questions include matching events with personnel, multiple choices, explaining key terms, and essay questions.

Please check the final exam timetable for the accurate time and date of the exam.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information. In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service — including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy. If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes. Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).
Dr Shuge Wei
6125 0188

Research Interests

Shuge Wei----Sino-Japanese War, China's propaganda system, China's diplomatic history

Dr Shuge Wei

Wednesday 14:00 16:00
Thursday 14:00 16:00
By Appointment
Dr Shuge Wei
6125 0188

Research Interests

Shuge Wei----Sino-Japanese War, China's propaganda system, China's diplomatic history

Dr Shuge Wei

Wednesday 14:00 16:00
Thursday 14:00 16:00
By Appointment
Dr Shuge Wei
6125 0188

Research Interests

Shuge Wei----Sino-Japanese War, China's propaganda system, China's diplomatic history

Dr Shuge Wei

Wednesday 14:00 16:00
Thursday 14:00 16:00
By Appointment

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