1 August 2023 • Faculty Zhou Examines Taiwan and China Unification

The National Interest features an article by Associate Professor of Asian Studies Jinghao Zhou that discusses viewpoints regarding the U.S. deterrence strategy over Taiwan Strait conflicts.

Associate Professor of Asian Studies Jinghao Zhou’s article Deterrence Won’t Stop China’s Unification with Taiwan is featured in The National Interest. The article expresses his understanding of the viewpoints regarding the U.S. deterrence strategy over potential Taiwan Strait conflicts, made by the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley on June 30, 2023.

By tracing the historical context and evolution of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) stance on Taiwan, exploring the consistent principles of the CCP, delving into Xi Jinping’s personal ambition, and discussing the differences of people’s attitudes in Taiwan and China toward the "unification," Zhou argues that the reunification of Taiwan is a longstanding principle upheld by all top leaders of the CCP and explains why the continuation of implementing this historical mission is unstoppable in the new era.

According to Zhou, it is understandable when Milley emphasizes the significance of a deterrence strategy in influencing China’s decision-making process based on the historical experience of U.S. foreign policy and implementation. "Nevertheless, it would be imprudent and could even jeopardize U.S. national security if the policymakers believe that the deterrence alone could change Xi’s determination to fulfill China’s mission of reunification of Taiwan in the context of China and the vision of the CCP," Zhou explains. "In fact, the U.S. deterrence strategy lacks solid ground based on the reality of Taiwan’s preparation regardless of the actual preparation of the U.S. side."

The intention of the article, Zhou says, is with hope that the three parties – the  PRC, Taiwan and the United States – will reevaluate their strategies and adopt the right approach to promote peaceful triangular relations.

Zhou earned his Ph.D. from Baylor University, M.Div. from Union Theological Seminary, M.A. from Wuhan University and B.A. from Nanjing University. He has taught nine courses in Asian Studies including China-the U.S., Chinese Women, Contemporary China and Chinese Cinema.

His research focuses on Chinese ideology, politics, religion and U.S.-China relations. He has published dozens of journal articles and six books. His latest book is Great Power Competition as the New Normal of China-U.S. Relations (2023).