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.

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.
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.