Wu Guo

Associate Professor of History and Coordinator of the Chinese Studies Programme, Allegheny College

WU Guo is Associate Professor of History and Chair of the Chinese Studies programme at Allegheny College, US. He holds a PhD in history from the State University of New York at Albany in the US and has been a visiting research fellow at institutions such as the Center for Advanced Humanistic Studies, Fudan University, the Academia Sinica (Taipei), and Southwest University in Chongqing, China. He is the author of three English-language monographs, over twenty English-language research articles and book reviews, and over thirty Chinese-language articles, book reviews, and essays.

Elderly eat in a community canteen in Changbai county, Jilin province, China, on 17 November 2022. (CNS)

Not everything has to be run by the state: Thoughts on communal canteens in China

US academic Wu Guo looks at the recent online furore over the mushrooming of state-run communal canteens in China and offers his views from the US. While providing food for the needy should be part of the state's responsibility, there should also be space for civil society, private enterprises and the public to play a role to create kind and healthy communities.
Students walk on a street during sunset hours in New Taipei City, Taiwan, 14 July 2022. (Ann Wang/Reuters)

Taiwan's language programme imparting 'Taiwanese national identity' to US students

Amid the repeated lockdowns due to Covid-19 outbreaks in mainland China, Taiwan has opened its doors to American students learning the Chinese language. However, US academic Wu Guo noticed that the language curriculum for foreign students in Taiwan includes electives on learning about Taiwan's “national identity”. Could this be Taiwan’s way of furthering its political agenda?
This photo taken on 24 July 2022 shows a man sailing a boat with tourists along a channel in the Zhujiajiao ancient water town in Shanghai, China. (Hector Retamal/AFP)

A Chinese professor in the US: Helping my son find his cultural roots

While second-generation Chinese immigrants are not better placed to immerse in the Chinese language and culture compared with their peers in China, US academic Wu Guo believes that they can still leverage their parents’ experiences, their advantage in the English language, and access to information and multiple perspectives to learn about their ancestral land.
A man uses an umbrella to shield himself from the rain while walking past shops along a street during a downpour in Seoul, South Korea, on 30 June 2022. (Anthony Wallace/AFP)

China should avoid labelling South Korea as a Western nation

It would be rather extreme of China to peg South Korea as a key member of the Western camp because of its political system and values, says US academic Wu Guo. South Korea and China are inseparable in terms of culture, history, economy and people ties. It might be more accurate to view South Korea as a buffer between China and the West.
Pins showing Taiwan are seen at a pro-independent book store in Taipei, Taiwan, 24 May 2022. (Ann Wang/Reuters)

Why it’s right that US policy on Taiwan has not changed

US academic Wu Guo explains that the US and China have fundamentally different interpretations of the “one China” principle and of the US’s adherence to its “one China” policy. To the Americans, Taiwan’s status has always been unsettled, and it has always advocated a peaceful resolution in the interest of regional stability. President Biden’s recent comments simply strongly affirm that.
Demonstrators during a national walk out in support of abortion rights at the University of Texas in Austin, Texas, US, on 5 May 2022. (Sergio Flores/Bloomberg)

Do Gen Z Americans hold the key to improving China-US relations?

American youths today are dealing with more issues and turmoil than their previous generations. US academic Wu Guo believes that the culmination of terrorist attacks, financial crises, social injustice and the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic have led to a generation that is more politically, socially and environmentally aware. These challenges and experiences could be a path for Americans to connect with the world outside of the US, in particular with China.
People take pictures of the Forbidden City after an overnight snowfall in Beijing, China, 22 January 2022. (Thomas Peter/Reuters)

Fewer Chinese academics in the US will worsen US-China disconnect

With rising US-China tensions and American society’s dissatisfaction with China, as well as a shrinking higher education market, Chinese academics teaching China-related humanities subjects in the US and their already-marginalised departments and courses have been affected. US academic Wu Guo believes that the future generation’s understanding of the Chinese language and of China's culture and history will deteriorate as a result and worsen the disconnect between the US and China.
People walk through wet streets after a morning snow storm in Manhattan on 7 January 2022 in New York City, US. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images/AFP)

Why the Americans know China better than the Chinese know the US

The belief that the Chinese know far more about America than Americans know about China is a misconception. In the age of globalisation and the internet, a knowledge asymmetry actually exists between the Chinese and the Americans — middle class Americans seem to have an understanding of Chinese culture, history and system based on rigorous academic research and analysis, but the Chinese lack the same level of understanding of the Americans. US academic Wu Guo shares his views on why the “knowledge deficit” exists in China.
People walk through an alley decorated with traditional lanterns near Houhai lake in Beijing, China, on 2 February 2022. (Noel Celis/AFP)

US academic: Equality is a myth, whether in the US or China

Wu Guo notes that equality is very much a mirage, whether in the socialist or liberal democracy conception of the term. The sum total of one’s head start in life is often tied to his or her family background. And often, no amount of levelling up can change that. But this does not mean that equality is of no relevance or should not be aspired to. Adopting an attitude of equality can help ensure that people’s rights are protected, even if the ideal of equality may never be achieved.