Not a single day goes by without China being covered in the news. China is already affecting our daily lives, and it is going to shape the future of the world.

"China and America are not enemies," says Zhiqun Zhu, MacArthur Chair of East Asian Politics and associate professor of political science and international relations, "they are rivals and competitors, and they cooperate on a wide range of issues."

Zhu believes that, because of the exponential growth of China, college students need to be prepared to deal with the large-scale impact it will have on their lives. "No matter what your majors are, you will be facing competition from China," says Zhu, who encourages students to take at least one course about Asia, particularly China, before they graduate. Zhu also strongly recommends students to complement their courses by studying abroad in China or other East Asian countries, saying "No region is as economically dynamic as East Asia, and other than the United States, no country is as influential as China in world affairs today." || Ask the Experts: Zhiqun Zhu on U.S.-China relations

To provide students with a thorough understanding of current affairs in East Asia, Zhu incorporates analyses of media reports from both Western and non-Western sources into his courses. He hopes that by the end of a semester, students will be able to think critically about issues, problems, and challenges facing East Asian nations and their impact on the United States and other countries. In addition to his other scholarly publications, Zhu has written and edited textbooks on China and East Asia.

Zhu organized an international conference in 2009 to mark the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. He brought to campus some of the leading China experts from around the world to engage in dialogue and scholarly analysis of China's growth, its domestic achievements and challenges, its global influence and its relationships with other nations. Topics included political reform, changing demographics, energy security, gender equality, climate change, military buildup, and soft power.

Zhu is a keen advocate of paying more attention to Asia, particularly China. "East Asia is where the actions are," explains Zhu, "two of the world's three largest economies are in East Asia. Not a single day goes by without China being covered in the news. China is already affecting our daily lives, and it is going to shape the future of the world."

Posted Sept. 20, 2011

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