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.

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?
Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwan's president, attends a commissioning ceremony for a new Ta Chiang guided-missile corvette in Suao, Yilan County, Taiwan, on 9 September 2021. (I-Hwa Cheng/Bloomberg)

Serious consequences if Washington allows renaming of Taiwan’s US office

The US is reportedly considering a request from Taiwan to change the name of its mission in Washington from “Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office” to “Taiwan Representative Office”. What are the implications, and is it likely to happen? Political scientist Zhu Zhiqun examines the situation.
People clean up their flooded homes in a Queens neighborhood that saw massive flooding and numerous deaths following a night of heavy wind and rain from the remnants of Hurricane Ida on 3 September 2021 in New York City, US. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images/AFP)

What can China and the US cooperate on now?

US academic Zhu Zhiqun says that the future should not be decided solely by self-interested politicians in Washington or Beijing. Instead, real problems that affect or endanger ordinary people's lives should be of the highest priority. A failure to cooperate can lead to confrontation between the two most consequential nations of today and bring harm to the world.
A visitor carries a Chinese national flag at Xibaipo Memorial Hall, ahead of the 100th founding anniversary of the Communist Party of China in Xibaipo, Hebei province, China, 12 May 2021. (Tingshu Wang/Reuters)

China everything: Where has America’s confidence gone?

While the US frames the China threat as a fight between democracy and autocracy, the Chinese see the competition between them about governance, not ideology. As the US’s internal problems escalate, China feels the former is no longer in a position to lecture it. In the midst of the US distracting itself from real troubles on the one hand and China’s inflated confidence on the other, US-China relations may be troubled for some time yet.
People watch a pop up event in Times Square on 11 June 2021 in New York City. (Angela Weiss/AFP)

US-China relations: Can we pin our hopes on future generations?

While views of China remain largely negative in the West, US academic Zhu Zhiqun finds one bright spot — the young who appear more receptive to alternative views of China. Will their openness help to improve the state of US-China relations?
A man is called forward while waiting in line at a medical oxygen refilling facility in Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh, India on 4 May 2021. (Anindito Mukherjee/Bloomberg)

India's coronavirus crisis is the world's crisis. Politics needs to take a back seat.

In hindsight, Zhu Zhiqun analyses some of India’s missteps that have left it ill-prepared to handle the second wave of Covid-19. China and other countries should learn from this: it is still not time to slacken one's vigilance against Covid-19, and a friend in need is a friend indeed.