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.

Women walk past a graffiti depicting US President Donald Trump, the Pachamama (Mother Earth) and Chinese President Xi Jinping, in El Alto, Bolivia, 16 October 2020. (Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters)

There will be no hot war as the people will not allow it

China has already flexed its muscles and shown that it can retaliate if provoked. Hence, although the US continues to play the devil’s advocate and wades into issues pertaining to Hong Kong, South China Sea and Taiwan, China will not fall into the trap as both sides know that the stakes are too high to engage in a hot war.
Visitors wearing protective masks walk by Chinese national flags and red lanterns decorated to celebrate the National Day in Beijing, China, 4 October 2020. (Yan Cong/Bloomberg)

The US is helping to unite the Chinese people and the CCP by challenging China’s core interests

The US has been trying to delink the CCP from the Chinese people, thinking that this will give them a clear path to defining a tangible enemy. But they have forgotten that Western imperialists were abhorred by the Chinese and any form of neo-imperialism would be anathema to them. The US may have overlooked the uneasy truth that nationalism in China is a firm glue that binds the CCP and the people together.
US President Donald Trump is seen behind US flags as he speaks to supporters at a "Great American Comeback" event at Central Wisconsin Airport in Mosinee, Wisconsin, on 17 September 2020. (Mandel Ngan/AFP)

Trump or Biden, the US is on a path of decline

US academic Han Dongping says that electoral politics in the US seems to have deviated from its original intent, which was to elect a leader that represents public opinion. The quest for power is now a game of thrust and parry by the elites and the wealthy, and is rarely in line with what the man on the street needs or wants. Is the “Trump or Biden” toss-up then just a false choice?
A neon sign of the American flag and neon lights at One Times Square in New York, 31 July 2020. (Timothy A. Clary/AFP)

No country can be the world's policeman: Debt-ridden US needs to focus on itself

For all of President Trump’s failings, says US academic Han Dongping, he did persist in his belief that the US has over-extended itself abroad and sought ways to pull it back. Whoever becomes the US president next will have to recognise that the US’s global role has changed irrevocably since 1945.
The Empire State Building and the World Trade Center sit behind the Statue of Liberty in New York City, 26 August 2020. (Kena Betancur/AFP)

Did the US feed itself the wrong intelligence?

The CIA itself admitted that much of the intelligence it had gathered on China in the Mao era was proven wrong, says US academic Han Dongping. Later when it tried to cultivate academics in the US and when it supported pro-democracy groups, it arguably still did not achieve its aim of getting China to change. What were its missteps?
People wait in line at a food bank at St. Bartholomew Church in the Elmhurst section of Queens, New York City, New York, US, on 15 May 2020. (Brendan McDermid/File Photo/Reuters)

America has itself to blame for its decline

US-based academic Han Dongping makes the observation that drug use is on the rise in American colleges, as is a widening wealth gap and problems in the public education system. These inadequacies are way more damaging to the Americans of tomorrow than anything China can do to America.
This file photo taken on 7 July 2020 shows students arriving at a school to take the gaokao, in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, China. (STR/AFP)

Clamp down on Chinese students and academics? America’s loss is China’s gain

Amid US-China tension, Chinese students and academics in the US are often viewed with suspicion. US academic Han Dongping reminds us that in the past, it was the US who encouraged Chinese students to stay on after their studies and the country had benefited greatly from their contributions in diverse fields. China was at a disadvantage then, in terms of holding on to their top talent, but now with the US closing its doors, it is more than happy to welcome a return to the flock.
In this file photo taken on 1 June 2020, NYPD police officers watch demonstrators in Times Square during a "Black Lives Matter" protest. (Timothy A. Clary/AFP)

Between the US and China, which is the police state?

While some in China admire certain values the US upholds such as the rule of law, Han Dongping observes the irony that in many ways, China’s age-old practice of community policing at the grassroots level may have produced a more humane way of rehabilitating rather than incarcerating offenders. If the George Floyd case that sparked angry protests is anything to go by, the US seems overrun with law enforcement woes rather than ruled by the law.
China’s rise will not be thwarted by the US. (iStock)

The US will accelerate its own decline by suppressing China

US academic Han Dongping shows that by all intents and purposes, China does not wish to take up the dominant position in the international system. But this does not mean that the US will stop feeling threatened by it and continue trying to thump China down. Like a game of whac-a-mole, China’s rise will not be thwarted and it will keep coming back, he says.