MERICS China Podcast

MERICS China Podcast

The MERICS China Podcast, brought to you by the Mercator Institute for China Studies, a show that analyses current affairs in China and the latest developments in EU-China relations.

Episodes

January 27, 2023 19 min

2023 will be a critical year for China. The party leadership around Xi Jinping is faced with an unprecedented health crisis and a troubled economy, while it must balance its relationships with the US and Europe with its "no-limits" partnership with Russia.

To anticipate what 2023 might have in store for us, we conducted the 4th MERICS China Forecast Survey involving 880 China experts and members of the public. In a conferenc...

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Since the invasion by Russia in February 2022, the quality and focus of Ukraine’s relationship with China has undergone important changes. China’s “pro-Russian neutrality” has given rise to a more critical perception of China in Ukraine. However, the government in Kyiv refrains from being too confrontational. 

To trace the development of Ukraine’s relationship with China, the impact of the war and the effect on relations with Taiwan...

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China’s ambitions of self-sufficiency, most notably embodied by its industrial policy Made in China 2025, are still hampered by a reliance on some key technologies dominated by a few companies based in the US and likeminded countries. To alleviate this dependency China wants to use the innovation chain concept and strengthen the connection between basic research and business application.

Michael Laha, Alexander von Humboldt Foundat...

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Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party since 2012, has been awarded with an unprecedented third term in power and has managed to fill the ranks of the inner circles of the CCP entirely with close allies. Together with MERICS Analyst Valarie Tan and MERICS Senior Analyst Jacob Gunter we look at the leadership reshuffle and other outcomes of the 20th National Congress of the CCP. Both experts argue that as a res...

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Im Fokus des 20. Parteitags der Kommunistischen Partei Chinas steht dieses Jahr die Bestätigung von Chinas Staats- und Parteichef Xi Jinping in seinem Amt für eine dritte Amtszeit. Kontrovers wird diese historische Entscheidung jedoch nicht sein, denn Xi hat die kommunistische Partei fest in der Hand.

Was von dem Parteitag erwartet werden kann und wie es danach voraussichtlich weitergeht, diskutieren Nis Grünberg, Senior Analyst bei...

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With growing geopolitical tensions, economic relations with China are increasingly challenging. The term “economic coercion” is heard more often recently in connection with EU-China relations, as China relies on economic pressure to push for strategic goals. A prominent example of this is China’s souring relations with Lithuania over the renaming of the Taiwan representative office, with companies operating in Lithuania caught in B...

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Various crisis scenarios - above all Russia's war in Ukraine - are reinforcing the impression that the world is moving toward a new formation of blocs. At the same time, Beijing seeks to use its growing global power and influence to shape the global order in its favor. How do countries in the Global South that cannot be so clearly classified to one bloc or the other view China's role in the changing international power stru...

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Trotz Zensur und Kontrolle gibt es immer noch ein breites Spektrum an Meinungen in China. Wo liegen die Grenzen des Sagbaren, und wie verschieben sie sich? Was erlaubt die Regierung, und wann schreitet sie ein? In welchem Verhältnis stehen die Äußerungen von Experten, Meinungsführern und Netzbürgern gegenüber offiziellen Positionen? Und: Können öffentliche Debatten politische Veränderungen bewirken? Mit diesen Fragen befasst sich d...

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China’s relations with the EU have become more difficult recently: In 2019, the Strategic Outlook of the EU Commission for the first time described China as a partner, a competitor and a systemic rival. This definition still holds today, and it is increasingly challenging to navigate in times of deepening rifts between global players. How should policymakers deal with a China that is ruled authoritarian, but that also offers econom...

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Green hydrogen is an important component of China’s path towards reaching carbon neutrality by 2060. While 80 percent of Chinese hydrogen is still produced using coal or gas with high CO2 emissions, a surge in technology development and large-scale projects led by local governments and companies are paving the way for a rapid expansion of the green hydrogen industry.

In this episode of the MERICS China Podcast, Alexander Brown and N...

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China is experiencing turbulent times: Covid-19 lockdowns in many cities and provinces have sent the Chinese economy into a dramatic decline, censors are having a difficult time keeping the Chinese internet free from statements of public discontent and rumors about political frictions. And as the war in Ukraine rages on, the Chinese leadership's course of alignment with Moscow is putting a strain on relations with Europe and th...

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The close relationship between Russia and China, which has not withered in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, has turned a spotlight on the simmering territorial conflict between China and Taiwan. But how much, if at all, does the Russian invasion of Ukraine impact cross-strait relations, and what does it mean for the prospect of a Chinese invasion of the island nation?

To answer these and other questions we are joined by ...

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Rail freight between China and Europe is probably the main symbol of the Belt and Road Initiative for many in Europe. Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, however, the steady flow of trains and goods has been disrupted. In this episode will look the impacts of the war in Ukraine on the BRI, how China is changing and adapting the BRI, and what that means for decision makers in Europe.

We are joined by Francesca Ghiretti and Jacob...

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On May 8, John Lee was elected as Hong Kong's next leader with over 99 percent of the votes cast by a largely pro-Beijing election committee. In his victory speech he claimed he wanted to start a new chapter and build a Hong Kong that is “caring, open and vibrant, full of opportunities and harmony." But what does the victory of this former police officer, who has the endorsement of Beijing and is described as an emotionless...

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Digital transformation is a top priority of China’s 14th Five-Year Plan. Having built a solid foundation for its digital economy, Beijing wants to reach the next phase: integrate digital technologies with the real economy, society and government functions to drive economic upgrading and modernize the Chinese Communist Party’s governance capabilities. Beijing’s vision, however, does not stop at home: it is global and builds on a dec...

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The time of vast investments of Chinese capital into Europe seem to be over. While China’s FDI in Europe in 2021 increased in comparison to the year before, it remained on a multi-year downward trajectory. Globally, also, the growth of Chinese FDI stalled and remained at roughly the same amount as the year before.

Following the recent publication of the MERICS and Rhodium Group report on Chinese FDI in Europe in 2021, we are joined ...

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On Friday, April 1, the leaders of the European Union and the People’s Republic of China met virtually for the 23rd EU-China Summit. While areas of shared interest like climate change and health played a role, the main focus was on Russia’s military aggression against Ukraine, which both sides discussed extensively.

In this podcast, Grzegorz Stec, Analyst at MERICS and expert on EU-China relations, looks at the buildup and outcomes ...

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In the last couple of years, it has become increasingly difficult for foreign researchers to access China, and even more difficult to conduct critical field research. One of the few channels for empirical data that is left to China watchers is open-source data, which has become an essential resource, especially on politically more sensitive topics.

To talk about open-source data research, how it works, why it matters and what it me...

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The “two sessions”, the National People's Congress (NPC) and the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), wrapped up in Beijing on March 11. In this episode, MERICS Lead Analyst Nis Grünberg discusses the main outcomes of these important annual meetings, which generally offer a window into the central government’s priorities. These include an ambitious GDP growth target of 5.5 pe...

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At the National People's Congress that is about to wrap up in Beijing, Premier Li Keqiang reiterated the ambitious "Common Prosperity" policy. Joint efforts in line with the opening-up policy would be needed to achieve this ambitious goal, Li said at a press conference.

In this episode of our podcast, Bert Hofman, the Director of the East Asian Institute at National University of Singapore and MERICS Executive Director ...

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