Hao is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Faculty of History under the supervision of Dr. Barak Kushner. His dissertation will examine how the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Republic of China (ROC) in Taiwan competed with each other for representational supremacy of the “real/legitimate” China by engaging with the emergence of the Cold War “Third Forces” of Asia between 1949 and 1971. The Cold War “Third Force” is defined through two categories. One is the Sino-sphere political appeal (mostly in Hong Kong) to challenge the pre-eminence of the “Two Chinas” struggle and advocated liberal democracy as a third alternative of prospective China representation. The other is the Afro-Asian solidarity movement pushed by newly independent Asian and African countries in order to overcome the shadows of US-Soviet bipolarity in the Cold War, including the Bandung Conference, the Asian-African People’s Solidarity Organization (AAPSO), and the Second Asian-African Conference. This project will focus on how both Beijing and Taipei confronted and managed these movements as part of their rivalry for recognition of their respective legitimacies. Through analyzing the China case, Hao hopes his research will contribute to rethinking what the concept of the “Cold War” means, and what it means specifically in reference to post-World War II East Asia.
Prior to his doctoral study in Cambridge, Hao completed his Bachelor’s Degree in the United International College at Hong Kong Baptist University, the first Liberal Arts school in China which was established as an experiment in Chinese higher education reform. He later pursued a research degree at the Master’s level at McGill University under the supervision of Dr. Lorenz Lüthi, the author of The Sino-Soviet Split: Cold War in the Communist World. His Master’s thesis focuses on how Nationalist China pursued parallel partnerships with both Nazi Germany and the United States during the early Second Sino-Japanese War between 1937 and 1941. In the summer of 2014, Hao came to Taiwan as a visiting research student at the Humanities Research Centre at National Chengchi University in Taipei, and conducted extensive research in Academia Sinica, Academia Historica and the Kuomintang (KMT) Party History Archives.