Zhu Zhiqun

Political Scientist

Zhiqun Zhu, PhD, is Professor of Political Science and International Relations at Bucknell University, USA, where he chaired the International Relations Department (2017-2021), served as the inaugural director of the China Institute (2013-2017), and was 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 Public Affairs Officer at the US Consulate General in Shanghai. Professor Zhu has received many research grants and fellowships including a Fulbright US Scholar award to Australia and a summer research grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.  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.


FBI Special Agents ready to process material recovered from the Chinese balloon that was shot down by the US military jet off the coast of South Carolina, in an image released by the FBI in Washington, US, 9 February 2023. (FBI/Handout via Reuters)

The balloon is down: Whither US-China relations now?

US academic Zhu Zhiqun notes that the Chinese balloon incident highlights just how fragile US-China relations are, and the uphill climb it will be to rebuild mutual trust.
China's Minister of Foreign Affairs Qin Gang (right) is greeted by Gabon's Minister of Foreign Affairs Michael Moussa Adamo (left) upon his arrival at the Leon Mba International Airport in Libreville on 11 January 2023. (Steeve Jordan/AFP)

A new broom sweeps clean? Qin Gang and Chinese diplomacy

While new Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang seems to be adopting continuity in Chinese foreign policy, there are subtle nuances that may augur well for China’s diplomacy. As for managing China’s relations with the US, courting US allies would be a good way forward, if China can resist responding with off-putting knee-jerk reactions.
People wearing face masks pose for photos with a Chinese national flag at a park in Shanghai, China, 12 December 2022. (Aly Song/Reuters)

US allies want good relations with China too

US academic Zhu Zhiqun notes that the US is still trying to exert pressure on its allies to follow its moves to suppress China. However, China is the largest trading partner of over 120 countries. These countries will never forsake their cooperation with China to accommodate the US. In fact, the trend of countries actively developing economic and trade relations with China while maintaining a security partnership with the US looks set to stay.
US President Joe Biden (right) and Chinese President Xi Jinping meet on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia, 14 November 2022. (Saul Loeb/AFP)

Grey skies: Outlook for US-China relations in 2023

While smiles at the recent Xi-Biden in-person meeting in Bali might have painted a rosy picture of US-China relations, the reality is that domestic politics, especially in the US, may stir and stoke tensions in bilateral relations in the new year.
Chinese President Jiang Zemin waves from his car following talks with Laurent Fabius, speaker of the French National Assembly, in Paris, France, 25 October 1999. (Charles Platiau/File Photo/Reuters)

Jiang Zemin: The Chinese leader whose achievements outweighed the shortcomings

US academic Zhu Zhiqun gives an assessment of the late former President Jiang Zemin’s policies during his time leading China throughout the 1990s and into the early 2000s.
This combination of pictures created on 15 September 2022 shows Russian President Vladimir Putin (left) and China's President Xi Jinping during their meeting on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. (Alexandr Demyanchuk/Sputnik/AFP)

Russia-Ukraine war: China needs to be wiser and more flexible in its foreign policy

US academic Zhu Zhiqun notes that the international community has been watchful of China’s moves since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine. China’s ambiguous stance, tense relations with the US and failure to actively mediate following the outbreak of the war have caused its international standing to decline. China will need to take a clear position on fundamental issues, as well as do its utmost to bring about peace talks between Ukraine and Russia.
The Rocket Force under the Eastern Theater Command of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) conducts conventional missile tests into the waters off the eastern coast of Taiwan, from an undisclosed location in this handout released on 4 August 2022. (Eastern Theater Command/Handout via Reuters)

Five big questions about Nancy Pelosi’s Taiwan visit

Amid the furore following US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, US academic Zhu Zhiqun answers five questions on everyone's minds about the visit — Does the US Congress follow its own version of China policy? Why has Beijing responded so vehemently? Who is changing the Taiwan Strait status quo? What does the Pelosi trip mean for China-US relations? And what did Taiwan gain from Pelosi’s visit?
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.