This unit is meant to help students understand the complexity of modern China, its importance in world history, and its re-emergence as a superpower.
This spans the mid-19th century until today: the period from the beginning of Western imperialism through the Opium Wars until the re-emergence of China as a major world superpower.
Before you begin exploring the exhibits, look at the Visitor Info and make sure you've downloaded the Visitor's Guide to help record key information. Here are some big questions you should consider throughout your visit:
To what extent should China be seen as a part of the Western world history narrative? To what extent should it make us re-think that narrative?
What caused the great divergence of China from the West and then its reemergence as a superpower?
Should the West apologize to China for the Opium Wars?
How should Mao Zedong be remembered? Should he have a statue in Tienanmen's Square?
To what extent is China a communist or a capitalist country today?
Should the West intervene in China's human rights abuses?
To what extent does China's recent successes show it to be a model for resolving the problems of the 21st century: climate change, poverty, crime, and pandemics?