After a brief overview of the Maoist era, this course will examine the rapid economic, political, and social changes that have swept China in the last three decades. We will examine major issues in China's astonishingly rapid transformation from an agrarian to an industrial society (e.g. escalating inequalities, the emergence of a large migrant underclass, the crisis of rural social welfare and health care, the spread of AIDS, looming environmental crises, increasingly skewed sex ratios due to population policies) alongside the reduction of poverty, increasing freedoms, the rise of a middle class, and the emergence of consumerism as a cultural ideology. The treatment of ethnic minorities and the possibilities for a democratic transition will be considered and debated. At the end of the course we will consider the impact of China's international rise as an economic power and energy consumer on US-China relations as China challenges US global dominance.