Chinese Military Thought and History

Great Wall of China 444x718

IWP 677
4 credits 

This course explores Chinese military thought from both a historical and philosophical perspective to provide a greater understanding of Chinese military decision making processes at the strategic and operational levels.

The course opens with an examination of fundamental strategic issues as dictated by China’s geography and cultural differences from its neighbors before transitioning into a study of the philosophical underpinnings of Chinese military thought such as Sun Tzu and the Romance of the Three Kingdoms. After establishing this basis, the course will examine case studies and trends through China’s medieval and pre-modern periods before drawing deeper focus on events during the modern era, such as the Opium Wars, the Sino-Japanese Wars, the Chinese Civil War, and the Korean War. The last portion of the class will discuss China’s current military posture in light of these factors and in reaction to the evolving international situation.

Semester Available


Spring Semester

Principal Professor


   Christopher R. Lew
President and Co-Founder of Water Dragons Consulting, Senior China Policy Analyst at SAIC {read more}