Q & A with Miao Zhengming, visiting cyber policy scholar

April 30, 2019

After arriving in College Park, visiting scholar Miao Zhengming, a doctoral student from Tsinghua University, sat down with CISSM to discuss his plans for his time at the University of Maryland.


1. What attracted you to the Visiting Scholar Program at CISSM?

CISSM is an internationally renowned center of international security scholarship. While it focuses on a range of international security problems, I’m especially interested in its work on cyberspace policy, which has been expanding recently. Besides its expertise, CISSM has a diverse range of academic activities and a free academic atmosphere. The faculty and researchers are also enthusiastic and responsive.

 2. Tell us about your educational and professional background?

I graduated with a bachelor of arts in teaching Chinese as a second language from Hangzhou Normal University in 2013. I received my master's of education degree from Tsinghua University in 2016. Since then I’ve been completing my doctoral degree at Tsinghua’s Department of International Relations.

3. What are your current research interests?

My current research focuses on cyberspace power transition. Power transition theory has a long history. I’m interested in whether a country’s physical power translates into cyberspace. For instance, is a country’s hegemony preserved in the digital world?

The United States is a superpower in the real world and in cyber areas. But U.S. power in the physical world is totally different from its power in cyberspace. Is it possible for a small country to overtake a big country in the digital world? 

There is both competition and cooperation between China and the United States in cyberspace. My research focuses on whether U.S. power translates into the cyber world, whether less traditionally powerfully countries can succeed in overtaking superpowers in cyber, or whether the U.S. and China can find a win-win solution in the domain. 

4. What do you hope to achieve during your time here?

While in College Park, I’ll be finishing a draft of my doctoral dissertation, which is focused on cyberspace power. The title is Continuation or Transition of Hegemony -The Power Distribution in Cyberspace, and publishing other cyber-related work that I’ve done. I’ve already enjoyed participating in School of Public Policy seminars and other events on campus. I also hope to expand my familiarity with different research methods and generally experience American culture.