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ChinaX: China's past, present and future

Through history, geography, philosophies, literature, politics, economy, art, and ecology.

Modern China presents a dual image: a society transforming itself through economic development and infrastructure investment that aspires to global leadership; and the world's largest and oldest bureaucratic state, with multiple traditions in its cultural, economic, and political life. The modern society and state that is emerging in China bears the indelible imprint of China's historical experience, of its patterns of philosophy and religion, and of its social and political thought. These themes are discussed in order to understand China in the twenty-­first century and as a great world civilization that developed along lines different from those of the Mediterranean.

ChinaX introduces new features to make the riches of Harvard's collections, including art, rare books, interactive maps, Harvard in-class footage, and Harvard Business School cases, as well as the expertise of its faculty more accessible to learners worldwide. ChinaX will also take you on virtual “Field Trips,” where you will have the opportunity to meet Chinese entrepreneurs, writers, artists, botanists, administrators, among others, as they give you on-the-ground perspectives on such topics as infrastructure, higher education, agriculture and the environment.

We will engage intellectual and religious trends, material and political culture, the local diversity and the national unity, art and literature, and China’s economic and political transformation— past, present and future.

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ChinaX Parts 1 through 10 span over 6,000 years of history. Each part consists of 4 to 8 weekly "units," each with videos, readings, interactive engagements, assessments, and discussion forums. There are a total of 52 units in ChinaX. 

Parts 1-5 make up China: Civilization and Empire, taught by Professor Peter K. Bol. Parts 6-10 make up China and the Modern World, taught by Professor William C. Kirby.

Please join us and ChinaX learners world-wide on the ChinaX Community Page . You can also join ChinaX learners, faculty and staff through the ChinaX Learner Initiated Facebook Group , on the ChinaX Facebook Page  and on the ChinaX Weibo .

ChinaX Civilization and Empire

China: Civilization and Empire

China (Parts 1-5) explores the development of this great civilization from the Neolithic to the last dynasty. We see the formation of political structures and social practices that have lasted into the present; we learn to appreciate artistic and literary traditions of sophistication and refinement; we inquire into its philosophical and religious legacies and their significance for our own lives; and we trace the creation of the largest economy in world history.

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China and the Modern World

China (Parts 6-10) explores the building of contemporary China – a new country built on the bedrock of a great and ancient civilization. ChinaX addresses what “modern China” means; when modern Chinese history begins; and enduring issues such as unity, population growth, environmental costs, social constraints, and commercialization.

ChinaX Courses New