Zhu Zhiqun

Political Scientist

Zhiqun Zhu, PhD, is Professor of Political Science and International Relations and Chair of Department of International Relations at Bucknell University, USA. He was Bucknell’s inaugural director of the China Institute (2013-2017) and MacArthur Chair in East Asian politics (2008-2014). He previously taught at University of Bridgeport, Hamilton College, University of South Carolina, and Shanghai International Studies University. In the early 1990s, he was a senior assistant to the consul for press and cultural affairs at the US consulate-general in Shanghai. Dr. Zhu is a member of the National Committee on United States-China Relations and is frequently quoted by international media on Chinese and East Asian affairs.

Soldiers of People's Liberation Army (PLA) are seen before a giant screen as Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks at the military parade marking the 70th founding anniversary of People's Republic of China, on its National Day in Beijing, China, 1 October 2019. (Jason Lee/File Photo/Reuters)

Global Security Initiative — China’s solution to international security?

At the Boao Forum, Chinese President Xi Jinping put forth the Global Security Initiative which has the concept of “indivisible security” at its core. Is this China’s answer to breaking up “small cliques” in international relations and seeking to build a community of common destiny for mankind?
A resident stands with her belongings on a street near a building burnt in the course of the Ukraine-Russia conflict, in the southern port city of Mariupol, Ukraine, 10 April 2022. (Alexander Ermochenko/Reuters)

How will the Ukraine war affect China’s foreign policy?

Previously, promoting peace and development and defending the multipolar international system with the United Nations at its core were the main tenets of Chinese foreign policy. But with its adherence to long-held principles and its stance on the Ukraine war questioned, China will have to conduct multidirectional diplomacy with aplomb to counter the West's deepening sense of distrust.
Rescuers work next to a building damaged by air strike, as Russia's attack on Ukraine continues, in Kharkiv, Ukraine, 14 March 2022. (Vitalii Hnidyi/Reuters)

Will the Ukraine crisis help to improve US-China relations?

Some analyses say that US-China relations may actually improve given the need for the US and the West to seek help from China in dealing with Russia. However, other indications are that recent events are engendering greater mistrust between the two countries, especially now that Congress has approved an omnibus bill that includes banning the use of maps that inaccurately depict Taiwan.
South Korea's new president-elect Yoon Seok-youl (centre) of the main opposition People Power Party gestures to his supporters as he is congratulated outside the party headquarters in Seoul on 10 March 2022. (Jung Yeon-je/AFP)

Will South Korea's new president take an anti-China stance?

South Korea’s conservative president-elect Yoon Seok-youl may have taken a pro-US, anti-China stance during the presidential campaign, but history shows that progressive and conservative presidents alike have had to implement a well-balanced foreign policy once in office. Given that China is South Korea’s biggest trading partner and a key player in the stability of the Korean peninsula, it would be of national interest to maintain friendly relations with China without leaning too far towards either the US or China. Political scientist Zhu Zhiqun discusses Yoon's likely preoccupations going into the presidency.
Members of the Russian community march during a demonstration against Russia, after it launched a massive military operation against Ukraine, in Los Angeles, California, US, 24 February 2022. (Ringo Chiu/Reuters)

Why Taiwan is not Ukraine

While some have linked the Russia-Ukraine crisis to the situation in the Taiwan Strait, US academic Zhu Zhiqun believes this is due to a misread of the differences between Ukraine and Taiwan, the US’s global strategy, as well as China’s domestic and foreign affairs. Ukraine and Taiwan present two different case studies in international relations and Beijing is not about to let the current conflict dictate its approach to managing cross-strait relations.
Leaves lay on the ground as pedestrians and bicycle riders are seen in front of the Reichstag building housing the lower house of parliament Bundestag in Berlin, Germany, on 19 October 2021. (Ina Fassbender/AFP)

Germany between the US and China

With a new chancellor in place, how Germany will adjust its approach to China amid growing rivalry between the two superpowers is an issue that is closely watched by many countries around the world. US academic Zhu Zhiqun examines the possibilities.
US President Joe Biden delivers opening remarks for the virtual Summit for Democracy in the South Court Auditorium on 9 December 2021 in Washington, DC, US. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/AFP)

A low-confidence US, an unconvincing democracy summit

In the wake of the first Summit for Democracy held online on 9-10 December, US academic Zhu Zhiqun questions the objectives and outcomes of the summit. He observes that reactions to the summit have largely been critical. The US needs to get its own house in order before it can have a deciding global influence on the debate. Otherwise, by playing up ideological differences, it is simply marking out another area in which the US and China agree to disagree.
A US-made CH-47 helicopter flies an 18-metre by 12-metre Taiwan flag at a military base in Taoyuan, Taiwan, on 28 September 28, 2021. (Sam Yeh/AFP)

Has the US shifted its position on Taiwan, again?

US academic Zhu Zhiqun notes that Beijing’s “one-China principle” has remained largely unchanged while Taiwan’s concept of cross-strait relations has morphed under the DPP to that of Taiwan being already independent. On its part, the US seems to be changing its stance, not least by adding Reagan-era, private assurances to Taiwan to the equation when defining its “one-China policy”. Tough questions need to be answered about how Beijing can curb Taiwan independence without alienating the Taiwanese public, or how the US can support Taiwan’s democracy without encouraging Taiwanese independence and dragging the US into a war with China.
A police barricade is seen in front of the US Capitol in Washington, DC, US, on 14 September 2021. (Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg)

AUKUS: Aggravating tensions and dividing the world

Australia, the US and the UK recently launched the enhanced trilateral security partnership “AUKUS”. American academic Zhu Zhiqun believes that AUKUS is divisive and serves the interests of the US military-industrial complex. It has also raised the stakes in China’s threat perceptions, given the unspoken target of the grouping. And now that Australia has picked a side, how will power dynamics play out in the Indo-Pacific region? Will China also seek alliances to strengthen itself?