College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

2016-2017 China Debate Resources

This year high school and middle school debaters across the United States will be talking about China. The National Speech and Debate Association's 2016-2017 Policy Debate Topic is "Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its economic and/or diplomatic engagement with the People’s Republic of China."

We have already been doing classroom visits to provide background and context on this topic to area debaters. If you are a debate teacher in the Lawrence-Kansas City-Topeka area, and are interested in scheduling a classroom visit, contact Randi Hacker at

For more background on this subject, you can also download and view this Powerpoint presentation, prepared by Megan Greene, Associate Professor of Chinese History at the University of Kansas, which has links to many helpful source materials.

You can also review the materials below from the 2014-2015 debate topic on oceans, which provides background material on territorial issues in the Pacific.

Resources on Oceans, from 2014-2015 Debate Topic

Many potentially contentious political issues revolve around the world's oceans: domain, territoriality, freedom of transit, over-fishing, development of mineral resources, protection of resources, protection of marine life and environment, and much more. These issues involve, although they are certainly not limited to, two crucial world regions: East Asia and Russia.

A trilateral exercise in the East China Sea with

South Korea, the U.S. and Japan participating.

(Source: U.S. Pacific Command)

We've compiled some links to online resources specifically for high school debaters, who addressed this topic during the 2014-2015 academic year, but also for anyone who wants to better understand ocean issues in these parts of the world.

Resources for Oceans and East Asia

East Asia includes China, Japan, North Korea, South Korea and Taiwan. The maritime areas around this region include the South China Sea and the East China Sea. The resources below offer some background on longstanding issues in the region, including those that involve U.S. relations with East Asian countries.

Japanese Territorial/Naval Disputes

On the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands:

Japan-Korea Dispute over Dokdo/Takeshima/Liancourt Rocks:

South China Sea Issues

Japan Coast Guard and Vietnam:

Japan Coast Guard and Philippines:

China/Vietnam Disputes in South China Sea:

Balance of Power and US interests in the Asia Pacific

Chinese/Russian Naval Development:

China's Rise as a Threat to US Interests:

US Pacific Interests:

The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, signed in 1982:


The 1951 Security Treaty Between the US and Japan:

The 1979 Taiwan Relations Act:

Energy Resources

Potential resource development in the South China Sea:

Potential resource development in the East China Sea:



You can find other resources for exploring East Asia on the KU Libraries' pages for East Asian Studies. Learning about another part of the world? Check out the KU Libraries' International and Area Collections.

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CEAS offers an M.A. program in Contemporary East Asian Studies.This interdisciplinary degree focused on 20th and 21st century East Asia provides students with in-depth interdisciplinary knowledge of a selected East Asian country (China, Korea, Japan); a broad knowledge of modern East Asia; and social science research skills and methods appropriate to international area studies. For more information click here, or contact Ayako Mizumura, CEAS Assistant Director: or 785-864-1478.

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