Course Syllabus

Course Information
Course Expectations

Course Information

Course Description

The greatest migration of people in the history of the world is occurring right now, in China. Hundreds of millions of people, whose families have lived in rural China for thousands of years, are moving to rapidly urbanizing cities. This migration is being driven by a country transitioning from a rural to an industrial and technological economy in less than two decades. This course analyzes the dramatic impact of this warp speed growth upon jobs, economies, families and individuals in China, the United States and the rest of the world. Through on line discussions, videos, readings, and independent research, students will have the opportunity to form their own viewpoints as to whether the 21st century will become known as ―The Chinese Century.

Course Learning Goals

After completing this course, you will be able to:

Liberal Studies Students: Social, Cultural and Behavioral Inquiry (SCBI) Learning Outcomes and Methodologies (formerly Self, Society and the Modern World {SCBI})

Courses in the Social, Cultural and Behavioral Inquiry domain focus on the mutual impact of society and culture on individuals, and of individuals on society and culture. Particular attention is given to human relationships and behavior as they are influenced by social, economic and political institutions, spatial and geographical factors, and the events and social and cultural forces at play in the contemporary world. The domain emphasizes the pursuit of knowledge through the development of theory and empirical investigation of the contemporary world. Courses in the domain explore such particular issues as poverty and economic opportunity, the environment, nationalism, racism, individual alienation, gender differences, and the bases of conflict and consensus in complex, urban societies and in global relations.

Substantive Learning Outcomes:

  1. Students will analyze and reflect upon arguments about the use contemporary world using relevant theory, methods, and/or empirical evidence.

    This outcome will be addressed through readings, videos, discussion sessions and writing assignments due in Modules 4 and 7. This learning outcome will also be addressed in discussion sessions throughout the entirety of the class. Final papers and presentations are required to address this outcome as will the final essay examination.This outcome will be a central theme throughout all modules in the course.

  2. Students will be able to analyze interdependent relationships between contemporary society and individuals.

    This outcome will be addressed through readings, videos, discussion sessions, completion of a capitalist/ socialist self assessment and debate. Particular emphasis will be placed on this outcome in Module Eight. This module focuses upon the contrasting relationship between the individual and society in capitalistic and socialistic systems. This topic should also be addressed in the final paper or presentation and will be covered in the final essay examination.

  3. Students will be able to analyze central institutions and/ or underlying social structures and their impact on the larger society.

    The course material provided in Modules One through Six will give students the background to be informed participants in the Module Seven Role Playing Activity. This exchange and debate requires students to analyze China’s rapid rise in manufacturing in the context of U.S. and Chinese governmental structure, international law, for profit corporations, Chinese and American culture, traditions and world economic and financial markets. This learning outcome will also be addressed in Module Seven and Eight Discussion Sessions. Final papers and presentations are required to address this outcome as will the final essay examination.

    This course provides an opportunity to study a country that has both Communist political leadership and the most rapidly growing capitalistic economy in the world. A wide variety of learning methodologies will help students to better understand how this dichotomy was created and how it co-exists. This knowledge will assist the learner in understanding power, diversity and inequity in China. The uniquely opposite theories of self and society in Communist and capitalist theory and practice will enable students to more critically analyze institutions, structures and society.

Methodological & Critical Thinking Learning Outcomes:

  1. Students will be able to articulate an argument based on theory and empirical evidence regarding the modern world.
  2. Students will be able to analyze critically research and arguments about the modern world.

This course will integrate past, current and potential future political and economic theory and practice in China. Through books, online lectures, readings films, videos, discussions, essays and independent and group research, students will be given the tools to academically articulate and critically analyze China’s impact on the modern world. Students must address these methodological and critical thinking learning outcomes in progressively advancing manner throughout discussion sessions, debate, written assignments, role playing, examinations and self assessments.

Personal/Reflective Learning Outcomes:

  1. Students will be able to reflect upon their role in the modern world, including their relationship to their own and/or other communities.

    Discussion sessions, debate, role playing, term research projects, an essay examination and written assignments will give students additional opportunities to express competence of this learning outcome from a personal and reflective perspective.

  2. Students will be able to analyze social problems and public policies on the basis of ethics and values.

Discussion sessions, debate, role playing, term research projects, an essay examination and written assignments will give students ample opportunity to express competence of this learning outcome from a personal and reflective perspective.
Students will be required to be active and informed participants in online discussion sessions, group debates and to write a midterm reflections essay. Final research papers and/or final essay exams must include demonstrating the ability to analyze social problems and public policy in the context of societal and personal ethics and values. Reflections on the relationships among change in China, the modern world and the individual will be emphasized throughout all modules of the course.

For SNL Students:

If you opt to address an A-3-F competence, you will be able to:

If you opt to address an H-1-C competence, you will be able to:

If you opt to address an H-5 competence, you will be able to:

If you opt to address an H-1-H competence, you will be able to:

Course Competencies

In this course, you will develop the following competencies:


Competence Statement and Criteria


Can compare two or more philosophical perspectives on the relationship of the individual to the community. This competence will compare and contrast differing perspectives relative to individual liberties and societal responsibilities.


Can explain the emergence, maintenance or evolution of an economic or political institution. This competence will evaluate the impact of a rapidly evolving economy and changing values upon a society and its people.


Can describe and analyze the challenges faced by communities in urban, suburban or rural areas.


Can analyze issues and problems from a global perspective. This competence will analyze the impact of rapid urbanization in China upon its citizens and the world economy.

Learning Methodologies

This course will utilize a wide array of learning methodologies. Among these will be lectures, textbooks, online readings and resource materials, videos, discussion sessions and debate. Students will also learn through personal and group research assignments that will help prepare them to meaningfully engage in learning activities. Individual research required for the completion of written assignments will give the students further opportunity to explore China beyond the scope of the course content.

Students will learn the political and economic history of China and its rapid transformation from an isolated third world Communist country to the world leader in manufacturing. The impact of this dramatic change upon the United States and other Western nations will be analyzed. Students will gain knowledge of the expansion of capitalism in China and the dichotomy of one country with two diametrically opposed economic systems. Individual commitment to capitalism versus socialism will be discussed and personally evaluated by the students.

Students will be informed of the growth of entrepreneurship in China and the dichotomy of one country with two diametrically opposed economic systems. Individual commitment to capitalism versus socialism will be discussed and personally evaluated by the students. Discussion sessions will integrate this knowledge with conversation and debate on topics such as Chinese and American business practices, jobs, outsourcing, prices and international economic markets. Students will explore the political, legal and corporate relationships among China, the United States and the rest of the world and assess their impact upon their personal lives. The instructor will share his personal experiences in China with the class and offer regular input relative to student debate and discussion.

Course Resources,Readings and Topics

To buy your books, go to

Required Reading:

Both textbooks listed under Course Resources will be required to be read in their entirety following the weekly assignment schedule.

Recommended reading (not required):
Additional readings relative to weekly topics, assignments and independent research projects.

Course Grading Scale

A = 95 to 100

A- = 91 to 94

B+ = 88 to 90

B = 85 to 87

B- = 81 to 84

C+ = 77 to 80

C = 73 to 76

C- = 69 to 72

D+ = 65 to 68

D = 61 to 64

F = 60 or below


Please note: Grades lower than a C- do not earn credit or competence in the School for New Learning.

Course Structure

This course consists of 10 modules. The estimated time to complete each module is 10 weeks. The following table outlines the course:

Week,  Module # and Title



Week 1, Module 1: Introduction and Recent History of China

View instructor’s video

View video, "The Tank Man"

View video, "BBC Report"

View video, "Students Don't Know the Tank Man"

Read A Brief History of China: Democracy or Communist Bureaucracy?

Read Tiananmen Square protests of 1989

Read What Really Happened at Tiananmen?

Read Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China


1.1 Introductions Discussion

1.2 Topics in Modern China

Week 2, Module 2: China's Wealth Transformation

Read Fallows, Chapters 1-4

Read China's wealth gap strains social fabric

Read Chinese find development has big downside

View video,"Mainland Chinese Spur Hong Kong Property Boom"

View video,"Hong Kong, Gateway to China, 1938"


2.1 China's Economy

2.2 Final Project Topic Selection

Week 3, Module 3: The Price of Modernization

Read Urbanization in the People's Republic of China

View video, "China: the New Wave, The Price of Rapid Modernization"

View video,"Bejing’s Vanishing Hutong"

View video, "Kung Fu English"

View video,"Factory Women"

View video, "The Young and the Restless in China"

3.1 Modernization in China Debate (group)

Week 4, Module 4: Growth, Environment, Jobs and Prices

Postcards from Tomorrow Square
Chapters 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9.

4.1 China's Policies and the US

Week 5, Module 5: The Impact of Technological Change in China

Postcards From Tomorrow Square, chapters 10, 11 and 12.

5.1 Role Play: The role of the technology

Week 6, Module 6: Midterm Reflections


7.2 Begin Midterm Reflection Paper

Week 7, Module 7: China Grows: The World Shrinks

Read China, Inc., Chapter 1.

Read article  China Ends America's Century Old Manufacturing Dominance

Read the Bloomberg article on the record foreign investment in China in 2010, “Foreign Direct Investment in China in 2010 Rises to Record $105.7 Billion.”

View the PBS video: “ Is Wal-Mart Good for America?”  

View the first episodes of the ABC World News Tonight series: “Made in America.”

7.1 Role Play: Manufacturing in China (group)

7.2 Midterm Reflection Paper

Week 8, Module 8: The revolution against the communist revolution

Read China, Inc., Chapter chapters 2, 3, 4 and 5.

View ABC Lateline Video, China Fears Peoples Revolution

Complete self-assessment on  Capitalism and Socialism

8.1 Discussion: The Pros and Cons of Communism and Capitalism

8.2 Rough Draft Final Project

Week 9, Module 9: China, the United States and the World Economy

Read China, Inc., Chapter 6 -12.

Watch video, Can China Maintain Growth During American Recession?

9.1 Intellectual Property Protection

Week 10, Module 10: Final Projects

Review all course materials.

Finalize research if you have opted to complete a term paper or online oral presentation.

View, When China Rules the World

View, Interview with Martin Jacques

10.1 Final Project

10.2 Share Final Project

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Assessment of Learning

Percentage distribution of Assessments

Grading Category:Points% of Final Grade:
Discussions 50 33.33%
Written Assignments 20 13.33%
Midterm 30 20%
Final Project 50 33.33%
Total   100%

Grading Policies and Practices

To complete the course, you must complete each of the assignments as described in the course and submit them to your instructor by the assigned deadline. In addition, you must participate in the course discussion forum by responding to all instructor requests and by interacting with fellow classmates as necessary.

Points are deducted for late work.

Criteria for Assessment

Assessment will focus on the achievement of outcome measures that are designed to meet the learning goals of the student. Student evaluation will embody the qualities of clarity, integrity, flexibility and empathy. The multiplicity of learning experiences offered in the class affords the opportunity to measure progress through the assimilation of a variety of assessment sources. Among these will be:

A) Informed participation in group projects and on-line discussions

B) Written assignments (see Writing Expectations below)

Writing Expectations
A) Week Three: Students must submit to the D2L drop box, a three page paper on the topic of the impact of China’s policies on the U.S. economy, jobs, prices and financial markets.

B) Week Seven: Students will be required to submit a five page midterm paper reflecting what they have learned in the first half of the class. The paper should highlight and expand upon one topic of particular interest to the student that was covered in the first five weeks of the course.

C) Ten page final written research paper

All students will be required to submit a final project proposal by Module 3. Proposals will be reviewed by the instructor for pertinence to the Learning Outcomes of the course. The instructor will offer suggested research methodologies, strategies and resources to the student.

All writing assignments must include footnotes and a bibliography. A minimum of eight external, academic sources are required for the final paper and at least four such sources must be cited for the two other written projects. All written assignments are expected to conform to basic college-level standards of mechanics and presentation.

General Assessment Criteria for All Writing Assignments

All writing assignments are expected to conform to basic college-level standards of mechanics and presentation.

Consider visiting the Writing Center to discuss your assignments for this course or any others. You may schedule appointments (30 or 50 minutes) on an as–needed or weekly basis, scheduling up to 3 hours worth of appointments per week. Online services include Feedback–by–Email and IM conferencing (with or without a webcam). All writing center services are free.

Writing Center tutors are specially selected and trained graduate and undergraduate students who can help you at almost any stage of your writing. They will not do your work for you, but they can help you focus and develop your ideas, review your drafts, and polish your writing. They can answer questions about grammar, mechanics, different kinds of writing styles, and documentation formats. They also can answer questions and provide feedback online, through IM/webcam chats and email. Obviously, the tutors won't necessarily be familiar with every class or subject, but they are able to provide valuable help from the perspective of an interested and careful reader as well as a serious and experienced student-writer.

Schedule your appointments with enough time to think about and use the feedback you'll receive. To schedule a Face-to-Face, Written Feedback by Email, or Online Appointment, visit

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Discussion Forums

Discussion Forums are an important component of your online experience. This course contains discussion forums related to the topics you are studying each week.  A Course Q & A discussion forum has also been established to manage necessary, ongoing social and administrative activities. This is where the management and administrative tasks of the course are conducted, and where you can ask process' questions and receive answers throughout the course. You are encouraged to share your personal experience with a topic when relevant. This sharing of information is valuable to other students and can help integrate theory with practical application of concepts learned.

Assessment Criteria for Online Discussion Participation

In the online discussions your responses will be assessed on whether one or more of the following are present:

  1. Offering up ideas or resources and inviting a critique of them
  2. Asking challenging questions
  3. Articulating, explaining and supporting positions on ideas
  4. Exploring and supporting issues by adding explanations and examples
  5. Reflecting on and re-evaluating personal opinions
  6. Offering a critique, challenging, discussing and expanding ideas of others
  7. Negotiating interpretations, definitions and meanings
  8. Summarizing previous contributions and asking the next question
  9. Proposing actions based on ideas that have been developed

The above list was adapted from Gilly Salmon’s book E-Moderating: The key to teaching and learning online. London: Kogan Page: p.143 (2000).

Online Participation Guidelines

A significant part of your online learning experience involves learning with and from your classmates and the instructor in the online discussions and group assignments.

Active participation means sharing information and resources and posting you ideas and critiquing and expanding on the ideas of others in a collegial fashion. This discussion is informal in the sense that it is meant to encourage interested discussion. You are expected to follow accepted standards of English spelling, grammar and usage, although you will not be assessed for these particular characteristics when you are participating in the WebBoard discussions.

These discussions are for you to exchange your reflections with your classmates and instructor about what you are learning. The discussions will be organized into forums around the particular topic(s) you are studying each week.

You may be asked by the instructor to take leadership in a certain group for a certain time of the course. You will receive further instructions from your instructor if this occurs.

You should contribute your responses to the particular assignment for that particular discussion heading which will be posted.

For each Discussion Forum, you are required to make at least one original contribution to each topic and respond to one or more classmates’ contributions.

Course Expectations

Time Management and Attendance

SNL's online courses are not self-paced and require a regular time commitment EACH week throughout the quarter.

You are required to log in to your course at least four times a week so that you can participate in the ongoing course discussions.

Online courses are no less time consuming than "face to face" courses. You will have to dedicate some time every day or at least every second day to your studies. A typical four credit hour "face to face" course at SNL involves three hours of classroom meeting per week, plus at least three to six hours of study and homework per week.

This course will require at least the same time commitment, but your learning activities will be spread out through the week. If you have any problems with your technology, or if you need to improve your reading or writing skills, it may take even longer.

The instructor should be notified if your life events do not allow you to participate in the course and the online discussions for more than one week. This is particularly important when there are group discussions or you are working as part of a team.

If you find yourself getting behind, please contact the instructor immediately.

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Your Instructor's Role

Your instructor's role in this course is that of a discussion facilitator and learning advisor. It is not their responsibility to make sure you log in regularly and submit your assignments. As instructor, s/he will read all postings to the general discussion forums on a daily basis but may not choose to respond to each posting. You will receive feedback to assignments.

The instructor may choose to designate "office hours" when s/he will be online and available and will immediately respond to questions. Depending on the instructor, this response may be by e-mail, instant messenger or telephone. Otherwise, you will generally receive a response to emailed or posted queries within 48 hours.

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Your Role as a Student

As an online student, you will be taking a proactive approach to your learning. As the course instructor's role is that of a learning guide, your role is that of the leader in your own learning.

You will be managing your own time so that you can complete the readings, activities and assignments for the course, and you will also be expected to take a more active role in peer learning.

Please also note that this is a course offered by DePaul University's School for New Learning (SNL), a college for undergraduate and graduate degree-seeking students 24 years and older. SNL welcomes the perspectives and encourages the participation of all DePaul students, and students who take this course should respect and be mindful of SNL's mission in supporting a diverse and inclusive environment. More information about SNL can be found here.

View this brief demo Taking SNL Online courses in D2L to learn how to navigate through your course.

If you’re new to SNL Online see additional resources on the course home page under Student Resources/Getting Started.

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Course Netiquette

Online discussions are an important part of your course experience. To ensure a positive learning environment, please follow the following minimum expectations. Use your common sense, as not all situations can be covered:

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Academic Integrity

DePaul University is a learning community that fosters the pursuit of knowledge and the transmission of ideas within a context that emphasizes a sense of responsibility for oneself, for others and for society at large. Violations of academic integrity, in any of their forms, are, therefore, detrimental to the values of DePaul, to the students' own development as responsible members of society, and to the pursuit of knowledge and the transmission of ideas.

Violations include but are not limited to the following categories: cheating; plagiarism; fabrication; falsification or sabotage of research data; destruction or misuse of the university's academic resources; alteration or falsification of academic records; and academic misconduct. Conduct that is punishable under the Academic Integrity Policy could result in additional disciplinary actions by other university officials and possible civil or criminal prosecution. Please refer to your Student Handbook for further details.

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Plagiarism is a major form of academic dishonesty involving the presentation of the work of another as one's own. Plagiarism includes but is not limited to the following:

Plagiarism, like other forms of academic dishonesty, is always a serious matter. If an instructor finds that a student has plagiarized, the appropriate penalty is at the instructor's discretion.

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DePaul University Incomplete Policy

The intent of the Incomplete grade is to allow students extra time to complete their final assignments. This need arises because, in the closing weeks of the course, they have an event of significant magnitude that adversely affects their ability to complete the course, e.g. serious illness, death in the family, overseas deployment, or natural disaster.

You must request an incomplete grade in writing two weeks before the end of the quarter. Incomplete grades will be considered only after you have satisfactorily completed at least 75 percent of the coursework, and you have such an unexpected, uncontrollable event that prevents you from completing your course. Do not assume that you will qualify for an incomplete. Students who are failing the course at the point where they request an incomplete will not receive one, nor will they be granted after the end of the quarter. Incomplete grades are given at the discretion of the instructor.

If you do receive permission from the instructor to take an incomplete in the course, you will be required to complete a contract with the instructor, specifying how you will finish the missing work within the next two quarters (excluding summer). See the Incomplete Grade Contract Form.

Undergraduate and graduate students will have up to two quarters to complete an incomplete. At the end of the second quarter (excluding summer) following the term in which the incomplete grade was assigned, remaining incompletes will automatically convert to "F" grades. Ordinarily no incomplete grade may be completed after the grace period has expired. Instructors may not change incomplete grades after the end of the grace period without the permission of a college-based Exceptions Committee. This policy applies to undergraduate, graduate and professional programs. NOTE: In the case of a student who has applied for graduation and who has been approved for an Incomplete in his or her final term, the incomplete must be resolved within the four-week grace period before final degree certification.

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Description of Pass/Fail Grading Options

Students have the option of taking all SNL undergraduate courses as Pass/Fail even if a class is initially structured for a letter grade assessment. In these cases a Pass is awarded when competence is demonstrated at a level that would otherwise earn a grade of C- or higher.

In deciding to select Pass/Fail grading students should be aware that competencies assessed in a course as Pass will earn credit hours toward degree completion but will not be included in computing grade point averages. Attempted competence demonstration assessed within a class as Fail will not only be recorded as credit hours attempted but will also be included in computing a student's grade point average.

For SNL students, competencies awarded for Independent Learning Pursuits and in the Lifelong Learning Domain do not count toward the university's specification that only twenty credit hours may be earned through the Pass/Fail assessment option.

Please note:There are three SNL courses within the BA curriculum that are always assessed on a Pass/Fail basis: Foundations of Adult Learning (course number LL 250; competences L-2 and F-1), Advanced Project (course number FA 303; competences F-11 and F-12) and Summit Seminar (course number LL 390; competence L-12). These classes may not be taken for a letter grade assessment. Therefore, work that might otherwise be assessed at grades A through C- will earn a Pass in these classes.

There are an additional five SNL courses within the Lifelong Learning Area of the BA curriculum for which instructors regularly use a Pass/Fail grading system that may instead be taken for a letter grade assessment if this is a student's preference. These classes are: Independent Learning Seminar (course number LL 103; competence L1); Writing for Competence (course number LL 260; competence L-4), Critical Thinking (course number LL 270; competence L-5), Research Seminar (course number LL 300; competences L-8 and L-9), and Externship (course number LL 302; competences L-10 and L-11). In addition, SNL's undergraduate Writing Workshop (course number LL 140; competence H-3-J) regularly uses Pass/Fail, although students may request a letter grade assessment. In these instances SNL offers undergraduate students the opportunity to request a letter grade assessment from their instructor. Students who need a letter grade for tuition reimbursement may wish to consider this option, as well as those who wish to raise their GPA. Students planning to attend graduate school may also prefer letter grades to Pass/Fail assessments.

If a student wants to switch the method of assessment, either to or from the Pass/Fail option, this must be requested from the instructor in writing by the beginning of the third week of the quarter. For courses that meet fewer than ten weeks of the quarter, this request must be made by the beginning of the third week of the course. The grading basis may not be changed after these deadlines, with no exceptions.

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For Students Who Need Accommodations Based on the Impact of a Disability

Students seeking disability-related accommodations are required to register with DePaul's Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD) enabling you to access accommodations and support services to assist your success. There are two office locations:

Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD)
Loop Campus: Lewis Center 1420. (312) 362-8002
Lincoln Park Campus: Student Center 370. (773) 325-1677

Students are also invited to contact their instructor privately to discuss your challenges and how the instructor may assist in facilitating the accommodations you will use in this course. This is best done early in the term and the conversation will remain confidential.

Dean of Students Office

The Dean of Students Office (DOS) helps students in navigating the university, particularly during difficult situations, such as personal, financial, medical, and/or family crises. Absence Notifications to faculty, Late Withdrawals, and Community Resource Referrals, support students both in and outside of the classroom. Additionally we have resources and programs to support health and wellness, violence prevention, substance abuse and drug prevention, and LGBTQ student services. We are committed to your success as a DePaul student. Please feel free to contact us.

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Protection of Human Subjects

For more information see:

Demonstrating the acquisition of competencies in this course can involve "interactions"—interviewing and or observing other people—discussing those interviews or observations with other class members and writing them up in one or more final report(s). As such, these activities qualify as "research" with "human subjects" and are subject to University and Federal guidelines. Because it takes place in the context of this course, your research is exempt from approval by the School for New Learning's Local Review Board only under the following conditions:

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Copyright and Student Privacy

In accordance with DePaul’s Acceptable Use Policy, commentary and materials within SNL Online classes shall not be copied, reproduced or published elsewhere without the express written consent of individuals involved.

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This course was designed and produced by Mark Enenbach and staff at SNL Online of the School for New Learning of DePaul University.

©2012 School for New Learning, DePaul University. All Rights Reserved by SNL during contractual interval with the Author.

Printed in the USA.

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