Chinese statistics have given rise to a variety of interpretations, doubts and blind citations. On the one hand, observers of China’s economy, population, history, social conditions and many other variables, are in dire need of numbers describing China’s state quantitatively. But on the other, they lack of trust into the authority of China’s statistical output. 

The aim of this course is to familiarize students with Chinese statistics -- historical and contemporary -- and to introduce them to a critical approach of quantification. Understanding better the production and uses of numbers allows to situate quantitative material in its proper historical, social and political context, without necessarily testing mathematically the reliability of data.