Professor Zhiqun Zhu publishes new book on Chinese foreign policy

Ellie Lowe, Contributing Writer

Professor of Political Science and International Relations Zhiqun Zhu has recently published a new book, “A Critical Decade: China’s Foreign Policy (2008-2018).”

“A Critical Decade: China’s Foreign Policy (2008-2018),” which can be found in Bertrand Library, explains how China has transformed into a global power over the last decade. The book outlines the many foreign policy challenges that China has overcome in the last 10 years, such as the growing U.S.-China rivalry, North Korea’s nuclear arsenal, the South China Sea and leadership change in China.

The book documents China’s growth between 2008 and 2018. While many Western countries were facing economic hardships in 2008, the Chinese economy continued to expand. “Many people consider the 2008 Beijing Olympics to be a ‘coming out’ party for China,” Zhu said. By 2018, China had become a key economic and diplomatic player on the world stage. The book ends with the latest developments in Chinese foreign policy, especially the escalating trade war between the United States and China.

According to Zhu, the turning point that transformed China into a modern powerhouse was in 1978 when post-Mao leader Deng Xiaoping initiated “Reform and Opening Up.” During the reform era, China established diplomatic relations with the United States, embraced capitalism and encouraged private businesses. All of these changes helped China’s transformation from one of the world’s poorest economies to the second-largest in less than 40 years.

“China has become an increasingly important player in many regional and global issues, and its foreign policy has become more active, sometimes assertive. Political and economic developments inside China and Chinese foreign policy will continue to shape global affairs in the years ahead,” Zhu said.

This book demonstrates the high impact that Chinese foreign policy has on individuals in the United States, amidst the ongoing trade war between the United States and China. The U.S. imports many consumer goods from China, such as shoes, toys, and holiday gifts. These tariffs will ultimately cost more for U.S. businesses and consumers due to higher tariffs imposed on them. “We’re all consumers, we all buy stuff made in China, and we all suffer from the trade war,” Zhu said.

Zhu regularly offers courses on East Asian Politics, Chinese Politics, International Relations of East Asia, Senior Seminar: U.S.-China Relations and Foundation Seminar: The U.S. and Asia in the 21st Century.

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