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Several studies show the correlation between China’s growing impact on the world’s economies and political populism in the US and European societies.

China’s leaders place high hopes on the vibrancy of the economy’s service sector, but in reality it has not been able to fill the void left by the decline of manufacturing. The inability of services to pick up the slack in turn creates a temptation for the government to delay overdue structural reforms while maintaining a reliance on investment-driven growth.

At first glance, China is not a factor in this year’s US presidential election, despite Donald Trump’s occasional efforts to make it one. Yet in the toxic brew of American politics, the economic relationship with China plays a role that seems set to grow and might increasingly poison the bilateral relationship.

The International Monetary Fund’s decision to add the Yuan to its basket of Special Drawing Rights currencies honors the Chinese currency's ongoing internationalization. The Yuan will soon play a bigger role in Asia and in financial markets for development aid. But it will take much longer for it to become accepted as a reserve currency in private markets.

There is a growing risk that China will be the origin or epicenter of global economic turbulences. To prevent negative spillover effects from homemade shocks, China has to improve the quality of economic data, set more realistic targets, improve communication and rely on market signals.

As host of the G20 summit in Hangzhou China showed unprecedented initiative in shaping global economic governance - and to ensure that the results reflect China’s domestic economic priorities.

Launching a new global paradigm for inclusive and sustainable growth is only possible if China agrees to lead the way. Beijing has to commit to structural reforms to increase productivity while protecting the environment, public health and the population's overall wellbeing.

Interview with Richard McGregor

Premier Li Keqiang receives scant international attention by China watchers who view Xi Jinping as the strong man at the top. Yet Li and the State Council have a bigger role than meets the eye.

Interview with Barry Naughton

The EU’s efforts to defend its steel industry against cheap imports from China are as misguided as China’s continuing overproduction of primary steel. Both sides will have to move away from traditional steel production and into higher value products to stay competitive.

China’s rejection of the South China Sea ruling poses a serious challenge to the rules-based international order. European nations can play an important role in forging a response using a new “G7 plus” Format.

China is a new player in the global knowledge economy dominated by Western countries and Japan, and to some extent by South Korea and Taiwan. Part two of this series assesses China’s potential to become a transformative force in global innovation.

China is a new player in the global knowledge economy dominated by Western countries and Japan, and to some extent by South Korea and Taiwan. Part one of this two-part series examines the foundations of China’s techno-nationalist drive for innovation.

Hamburg is a hub for European trade with China, and many Chinese companies are headquartered in the city. At a time when the German public is concerned about growing competition with China over innovation and technology, European entrepreneurs stressed the need to cooperate at a MERICS China Dispute organised in cooperation with the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce.

The surge of Chinese FDI in Europe poses a novel challenge to investment regimes and competition policy. Policymakers should take concrete steps to deal with China's aggressive outbound industrial and technology policies and to prevent market distortions by state-controlled investors.

Interview with Arthur Kroeber

China will need economic and political reforms to keep up growth, says Arthur Kroeber of Gavecal Dragonomics, an independent research firm in Beijing. In this Podcast he argues that the transition to a new growth model won’t be possible without cutting back state-owned enterprises, restructuring financial markets, and promoting globally competitive innovation. “President Xi seems willing to sacrifice economic vitality to maintain political control.”

China has to introduce regional solidarity if it wants to become a high-income country. Fiscal redistribution could bridge the gap between rich and poor provinces.

In times of slower growth, the Chinese government’s promise to abolish poverty in China by 2020 will be hard to keep. Beijing will have to actively support weak segments of Society.

Ting Guan

China allows local governments a lot of say in implementing environmental policy. This system may lead to uneven outcomes, especially when compared to environmental pioneers like Germany. But in light of vast regional differences, ‘one size fits all environmental policy implementation’ will not work in China. 

Interview with Thomas Eder

Tensions in the South China Sea could further escalate after a ruling by a UN tribunal expected within the next few weeks. China is likely to take provocative action should the court rule in favour of the Philippines, said MERICS fellow Thomas Eder. In our latest Podcast, Eder warns that the EU cannot afford to ignore this challenge in a region that includes important shipping routes for its trade with Asia.

The Chinese bid for a substantial share of robotics maker Kuka is a serious dilemma for Germany. Chinese acquisitions of global leaders in high-end manufacturing risk hollowing out Germany’s Industry 4.0 strategy.

China’s rise as a global player is forcing EU member states to rethink the way they pursue their security interests. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), presently chaired by Germany, could become a valuable tool for engaging China on critical security challenges, particularly in Central Asia.

Investors’ fears over China selling off its foreign currency reserves are short sighted. Rather than signalling an impending crisis, the development shows that China is now investing globally and that the yuan is on track to become an international currency.

From book clubs to real estate and e-commerce – Ekkehard Rathgeber’s career in China mirrors the country’s tumultuous development since 1989. The German entrepreneur spoke about his experiences at the MERICS China Lounge.