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 Senior Assistant to Consul for Press and Cultural Affairs at the American 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 to comment on Chinese and East Asian affairs.

People walk before the Opera House, usually packed with tourists, in Sydney, on 18 May 2020. (Saeed Khan/AFP)

China-Australia relations: Downward spiral as Australia plays 'deputy sheriff' to the US?

Political scientist Zhu Zhiqun traces the downward spiral of China-Australia relations made worse by the Covid-19 outbreak. From Australia’s perspective, much of it stems from fear, both its own and projected from the US, of the China threat. Despite the gloom, all is not lost if both sides choose to focus on what binds the two societies together, rather than what drives them apart.
The Karnak Temple in Luxor, Egypt is pictured on 1 March 2020 with the Chinese flag projected on it in solidarity with the Chinese people amid the Covid-19 pandemic. (AFP)

‘Wolf-warrior diplomacy’: China's new normal?

Taking an aggressive stance will do Chinese diplomats little good in their efforts to control the narrative, says Zhu Zhiqun. In fact, such behaviour offends the very people they hope to persuade. However, is wolf-warrior diplomacy becoming the new normal?
China and India mark 70 years of diplomatic relations. (Cartoon by Miel/SPH)

Uneasy Dance between an elephant and a dragon: 70 years of diplomatic relations between India and China

While the days of “Hindi Chini Bhai Bhai (India and China are brothers)” in the 1950s may have passed, China-India relations seem to be on an even keel as the two Asian giants mark their 70th anniversary quietly amid the Covid-19 outbreak. Zhu hopes that however the world order changes after the pandemic, the two neighbours will work together for the greater good for years to come.
Boxes of donated medical supplies from Chongqing to Italy are seen in this photo taken on 19 March 2020. The note written in both Chinese and Italian on the boxes reads: "Italy, you can do it!" (CNS)

Informal diplomacy: The way to solidarity in a global crisis

Away from the bright lights of formal diplomacy where barbs traded between governments are par for the course, the simple yet effective channel of people-to-people diplomacy is helping to thaw the ice around some hardened positions.
Johnny Chiang, newly elected chairman of Taiwan’s main opposition Kuomintang (KMT), speaks after winning the KMT’s chairman elections in Taipei, 7 March 2020. (Handout/CNA/AFP)

Fresh, young, pragmatic chairman of Kuomintang signals new hope for Taiwan?

All eyes are on Johnny Chiang, the 48-year-old who was elected the new chairman of Taiwan's Kuomintang. Chiang won all the elections he stood for in 2012, 2016, and 2020, and was the KMT Legislative Yuan member with the most votes in the 2020 general election. Political scientist Zhu Zhiqun says Chiang is, without a doubt, the most suitable candidate to be KMT chairman right now. But what are the challenges faced by the ailing party under new leadership, and the implications these may have on cross-strait relations?
US President Donald Trump and China's President Xi Jinping shake hands after making joint statements at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, November 2017. (Damir Sagolj/REUTERS)

Trading places: A confident China and an insecure America?

Amid adjustments as China and the US size each other up anew and recalibrate their relationship, the international community needs to be prepared for the uncertainties an increasingly insecure America and a more confident China may bring to the world. Professor Zhu Zhiqun of Bucknell University in the US opines that it is entirely possible for America’s declining confidence vis-à-vis China to be based on its exaggerated assessment of China’s influence, while China’s growing confidence is built upon an inflation of China’s real power.
Are cross-strait relations proving to be too huge a gap to bridge? (Ann Wang/Reuters)

The Taiwan Strait: Hit the brakes now before it is too late

Not even the shared threat of Wuhan coronavirus can bring Taiwan and mainland China closer together. Zhu Zhiqun says recent developments do not bode well for cross-strait relations in the years ahead.
China's Premier Li Keqiang (C) with Japan's Prime Minister Shinzō Abe (R) and South Korean President (L) Moon Jae-in at the 8th trilateral leaders' meeting in Chengdu on 24 December 2019. (Wang Zhao/Pool/AFP)

[Outlook 2020] East Asian security in 2020: New year, old challenges

Political scientist Zhu Zhiqun assesses that the East Asian security outlook for 2020 is not very promising, given that overall security in the region has deteriorated on several fronts over the past year. He gives his take on key hotspots in the region — the Korean Peninsula, the South China Sea, and the Taiwan Strait — and sums up major powers’ priorities in the region.
Israel's balancing act with China and the US. (iStock)

Israel: Caught between a rock and a hard place with China and the US

China and Israel share a special relationship that goes back in history and is grounded in modern economic and social needs, but the US has both explicit and implicit concerns about growing China-Israel relations. Political scientist Zhu Zhiqun illuminates how Israel walks the tightrope of advancing relations with both China and the US amidst intense rivalry between the two major powers.