Zhongtian Han is a doctoral candidate in history at the George Washington University and a Hans J. Morgenthau fellow in grand strategy at the University of Notre Dame. Zhongtian specializes in modern East Asian history with a focus on how information technology became a source of power for different Asian and Western forces, and how the employment of such power shaped the course of major historical events and transformed East Asian states and societies. His work on these topics has been published in War in History.
Zhongtian’s dissertation and book project challenges widely held assumptions about the Chinese revolution by highlighting the Chinese Communist forces’ use of information technology to create an intelligence advantage in their military struggles from 1930 to 1953. According to past scholarship, the Chinese Communist forces won revolutionary warfare because of the Party’s strength in mobilizing the rural society, which compensated for their technological impotence. Contrary to this interpretation, Zhongtian argues that effective communications intelligence and security operations, and their close integration with the Chinese Communist forces’ military strategies, were essential to the Communist forces’ effectiveness. Based on this framework, Zhongtian reexamines the Party’s military effectiveness in the global context of intelligence and information technology’s increasing importance in twentieth-century warfare.
Fellowships from the Society for Military History, the Cosmos Club Foundation, and the Sigur Center for Asian Studies have supported Zhongtian’s research at the Academia Historica (Taiwan), the Second Historical Archives of China (mainland China), the National Institute for Defense Studies (Japan), and the National Archives at College Park, Maryland (United States).