Skip to 0 minutes and 9 seconds I’m John Delury, professor at Yonsei University here in Seoul, South Korea. We all know how China’s rise is transforming the world from the value of the euro to climate change literally all over the planet. What’s unique about this MOOC is it allows you to take a look at China from right up close, from the perspective here, that borders on the Korean peninsula. You will learn about the special relationship between China and Korea compared to being as close as lips and teeth that goes back for centuries. For me, this MOOC is exciting because it allows me to build on my first book called Wealth and Power– China’s Long March to the 21st Century.
Skip to 0 minutes and 47 seconds With my co-author Orville Schell, in that book, we looked at China’s desperate search for a formula for national strength and prosperity. It was how Chinese look at their own history. But in this MOOC, we open up the picture and we look at how China’s evolved its relationship with a small but strategic country on its Northeast border, with Korea. I want to cover a lot of ground chronologically speaking and think about big themes. So to do that, our MOOC will use the three major wars fought by Chinese troops on the Korean peninsula.
Skip to 1 minute and 18 seconds We’ll start with the massive conflict in the 1590s known as Imjin War when Japan invaded Korea and pushed all the way up north before being beaten back by combined Sino-Korean forces. Then we will look at the first Sino-Japanese war in the 1890s, when the same thing happened, but this time, China failed to stop Japan. And of course, we will look at the Korean War, in the 1950s, when yet again, China sent hundreds of thousands of young men across the Korean border. This time, to repel an American led coalition fighting for South Korea. As a historian, I’m always interested in how the past connects with the present.
Skip to 1 minute and 55 seconds So in the last two weeks of the class, we’re going to move right up to the current period. We’re going to look at China’s rather tricky post Cold War strategy of trying to be friends with both Koreas, and we’re going to finish with a look at the current leaders, Xi Jinping, Park Chung-hee, and Kim Jong-Un, and their pretty remarkable family backgrounds. And from that, try and get some clues about the future of China-Korea relations.