MERICS researchers and guest speakers discuss and analyze developments and current affairs in China.
#120 Matt Ferchen on informal actors in China's foreign engagement
April 30, 2021
China’s economic success and its achievements in poverty reduction are often perceived as inspiring to other countries, especially in the global south. Beijing itself actively promotes its state capitalism as the China model – and as an alternative for Western liberal democracy. But increased Chinese engagement has also led to criticism in neighboring countries. To talk about the issue of informal activities and actors in Chinese overseas engagement, MERICS Experts is joined by Matt Ferchen, Head of Global China Research at MERICS.
#119 Mikko Huotari zu den deutsch-chinesischen Beziehungen
28. April 2021
Die sechsten deutsch-chinesischen Regierungskonsultationen finden in diesem Jahr in einem schwierigen Kontext statt. Wegen Menschenrechtsverletzungen in Xinjiang hatte die EU vor fünf Wochen Sanktionen gegen China verhängt. Die Führung in Beijing reagierte umgehend mit weitaus schärferen Sanktionen. Die Reaktion der Bundesregierung fiel bisher verhalten aus. Über die deutsch-chinesischen Beziehungen sprechen in unserem neuen Podcast Ariane Reimers, ARD-Korrespondentin und MERICS Senior Fellow, und MERICS-Direktor Mikko Huotari. Trotz einer Vertiefung der deutsch-chinesischen Wirtschaftsbeziehungen sei bei zentralen Fragen der Kooperation zu wenig passiert, sagt Huotari.
#118 - Radoslaw Sikorski on EU's sanctions row with China and the transatlantic partnership
March 31, 2021
“The EU's policy towards China should be based on the following principles: cooperate where possible, compete where needed, confront where necessary.” This is the vision of the European People’s Party’s (EPP) strategy paper on European relations with China released in the beginning of March. In this episode of MERICS Experts we talk to its author, Radosław Sikorski, Member of the European Parliament for the European People’s Party and chair of the European Parliament’s delegation for relations with the United States.
The conversation touches on a range of strategic issues related to EU-China relations including the implications of the exchange of sanctions between the EU and China, the prospects for transatlantic cooperation on China and the logic behind the EU’s Indo-Pacific strategy that is now in the works. The interview was led by MERICS analyst Grzegorz Stec.
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#117 Plamen Tonchev on 17+1’s past, present and future
February 19, 2021
On February 9, China’s President Xi Jinping held an online 17+1 summit with representatives from Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries. The summit would normally be attended by Chinese Premier and CEE Prime Ministers, making Xi’s decision to take Li Keqiang’s place a boost to the meeting’s importance. The format has been controversial - with Brussels and Western capitals maintaining that it undermines European unity, while leaving many Central and Eastern Europeans critical of its underperformance and China maintaining it to be a success.
So what are the outcomes of the summit and what future awaits the 17+1 framework? To answer these and other questions we are joined by Plamen Tonchev, Head of the Asia Unit at the Athens- based Institute of International Economic Relations (IIER). As a representative of IIER, he is a founding member of the European Think-tank Network on China (ETNC). In addition, he sits on the EU Chapter of the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific (EU CSCAP) committee. Currently, Plamen is also a European China Policy Fellow at MERICS.
The interview was led by MERICS analyst Grzegorz Stec, who compiles the MERICS EU-China Weekly Review.
#116 - Global Challenges 2021: Decoupling, climate and connectivity
January 13, 2021
Accompanying our MERICS China Forecast 2021 event, MERICS experts wages a look at three global challenges in 2021, namely decoupling and the evolution of multilateralism, cooperation and competition in the climate crisis, and the development of connectivity in a world plagued by a pandemic. For every section we are proud to introduce a very accomplished and knowledgeable guest.
Our first guest is the Honorable Kevin Rudd, CEO and President of the Asia Society, and President of the Asia Society Policy Institute. Mr. Rudd served as Australia’s 26th Prime Minister (2007-2010, 2013) and as its Foreign Minister (2010-2012). He is one of the leading international authorities on China that remains active in second-track diplomacy. In our conversation we discussed the issues linked to politicization of international economy and the prospects for adjustment of the multilateral system in the year ahead.
Our second guest is Isabel Hilton, the CEO and Editor of China Dialogue, a fully-bilingual non-profit focused on the environment and climate change. Ms. Hilton holds two honorary doctorates and was awarded the Order of the British Empire for her contribution to raising environmental awareness in China. We talked about China’s efforts in combating the climate crisis and the challenge of developing an effective international framework on this issue.
Our final guest is Jonathan Hillman, a senior fellow with the CSIS Economics Program and director of the Reconnecting Asia Project. He is one of the leading voices commenting on China’s Belt and Road Initiative and has recently released his first book “The Emperor’s New Road: China and the Project of the Century”. Together, we discussed the evolution of the geopolitical connectivity competition and the relevance of the Indo-Pacific region within this context.
The interviews were led by our analyst Grzegorz Stec.
#115 Rana Mitter on China’s collective memory of WWII
December 22, 2020
The second World War in China is among the least known chapters of Word War II, yet it is crucial in shaping the politics of post-war Asia into the present moment. The way the war is remembered in China has changed over the years and keeps on changing. The recent memorial ceremony on December 13, 2020, remembered the Nanjing Massacre of 1937. It is only the seventh year since a National Memorial Day has been instituted.
How has China’s interpretation of WWII changed? How does it differ from other countries in the region? And what are the implications for contemporary global and domestic politics? To answer these and other questions we are joined by Professor Rana Mitter of Oxford University. In his view today “it is possible to spot aspects of China’s collective sense of WWII in every aspect of public life from movies to social media communities to official museums and plenty of others too.” The interview was led by MERICS senior analyst John Lee.
Great to hear what’s going on in Communist China
Always good to hear the English podcasts and hope that China can become a better place...