Han Dongping

Professor, Warren Wilson College

Han Dongping is currently a political science professor at Warren Wilson College, USA. He teaches East Asian history, international politics of the Pacific, comparative government of the Global South, politics of developing states, Chinese government and politics, agriculture, community and the environment and the Chinese Cultural Revolution. His major works include: China through the eyes of an overseas Chinese (Chinese Social Science Press, 2019), “China’s rural reform and its impact on China’s food security” (Journal of Labor and Society, 2018), “Human Rights in a Realist World — A Review of Sino-U.S. Confrontation over Human Rights” (The Oriental Anthropologist, 2004) and “Impact of the Cultural Revolution on Rural Education and Economic Development” (Modern China, January 2001). He also wrote numerous commentaries for China Daily and other Chinese newspapers in both English and Chinese. He was guest professor at Hebei University, Wenzhou University, and Nanchang University.

People walk along a street in Beijing on 18 May 2021 past military propaganda which reads: "Courageous —  raise a new generation of spirited, capable, courageous and morally upright revolutionary soldiers." (Noel Celis/AFP)

What if China and Russia join forces?

The US would not like to see China and Russia getting too close, knowing that their combined strengths would be formidable. But history shows that full cooperation between China and Russia is not a straightforward matter at all. US academic Han Dongping discusses the forces pushing these two giants closer together and the possible scenarios that could unfold if they join forces.
 A couple plays with their two children on the outskirts of Shanghai, China, 3 June 2021. (Aly Song/Reuters)

China’s demographic crisis: The farmers should have a say

Han Dongping points out that the views of the rural population in China should be taken into account in the three-child policy or other population policies. They were the most affected group when the the one-child policy was implemented decades ago. The government made the mistake of not consulting them then, alienating their stronghold of support in the process. They should not make the mistake again.
US President Joe Biden and Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga walk through the Colonnade to take part in a joint press conference in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC on 16 April 2021. (Mandel Ngan/AFP)

US academic: Is Japan a true and loyal US ally?

US academic Han Dongping says that while many assume Japan to be a loyal friend of the US, their complicated history suggests otherwise. Having used the atomic bomb on Japan, the US has continued to leverage the outcome of WWII to keep Japan as a pawn in its international strategy. Americans may argue that they are protecting Japan, but ask the Japanese in private, and some of their answers may surprise you. He asks: will Japan still be a willing US flunky if the global situation changes?
Cyclists and vehicles wait at a traffic signal light in Beijing, China on 21 April 2021. (Yan Cong/Bloomberg)

No one in the world loves the US as much as the Chinese? Not anymore.

China is no longer as enamoured with the US as it used to be, with its realisation that the US will never allow it to reach to its level and stand on an equal footing. Freed from sentimentality towards the US, China may accelerate its search for new partners to ensure its survival, says Han Dongping.
Soldiers take part in a drill in a military base ahead of the Lunar New Year in Hsinchu, Taiwan, 19 January 2021. (Ann Wang/Reuters)

Will American soldiers lay down their lives for Taiwan?

History shows that whether it was the Korean or Vietnam War, or the later military campaigns in Iraq or Afghanistan, the US rarely won the war as it was simply not their war to fight. With little real skin in the game, their opponents fighting tooth and nail for their homeland often got the upper hand despite being much weaker. Can the Taiwan case, if ever any skirmishes break out, be any different?
A man rides a bicycle as snow falls in New York's Times Square on 18 February 2021.(Kena Betancur/AFP)

Is America falling apart?

The US is doing a re-evaluation of several problems long embedded in its class system, culture and history. Han Dongping says that amid sharp divides in values and beliefs, every individual has a role to play to help resolve issues in a peaceful manner, so that the US avoids the danger of descending into civil war. But are the two major political parties ready to lead and take on the challenge?
People walk in Times Square in Manhattan, New York City, New York, US, 14 February 2021. (Jeenah Moon/Reuters)

Has the US walked into China's trap?

Han Dongping calls out the weaknesses in US foreign policy, explaining that its foreign policy missteps have contributed to the deep-seated issues it faces today. If having to learn from the past is not enough, it is as if the US has walked into China’s trap, getting mired in interventions while China watches and waits as the US slowly exhausts its power. If nothing changes, the impact on the US and the rest of the world could be catastrophic. 
A worker plants an American flag along the National Mall in Washington, DC, US, on 18 January 2021. (Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg)

The poor in the US and China live different lives

With the Biden administration in place, some fear that the generous social welfare policies Democrat governments tend to implement will further deplete the US’s dwindling coffers. Even as some Americans have a knee-jerk reaction to what they perceive to be socialism, can the Chinese example offer any learning points for the Americans? How were they able to industrialise so quickly and move towards poverty alleviation?
A supporter of President Donald Trump yells at counter-protesters across the street during a rally to protest against the election results outside the Georgia State Capitol on 14 November 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images/AFP)

Internal conflicts will be the downfall of the US

US academic Han Dongping notes that the US is no longer in the leading position it used to hold, and it is finding it difficult to handle the challenges from other countries, especially China, not least because of its own domestic contradictions that are getting harder and harder to reconcile. It can no longer rely on old ways of maintaining order domestically and internationally. It has to come up with new strategies — fast.