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MERICS Podcast

MERICS Podcast

Analyses from MERICS that you can listen to: podcasts from MERICS covering a range of interesting topics. Social scientists working at MERICS discuss and analyse developments and events currently taking place in China. How should we assess the stance China takes at international talks on climate change? How does the Chinese Government employ social media to its own ends? What condition is China’s political system currently in?

The podcasts are approximately 10 minutes long and contain interviews about topical subjects that are often controversial. The issues span politics, economics and society in the PRC. Other experts on China in addition to MERICS’ own staff also regularly take part in the interviews as guests.

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Nationalism and the ideological battle for China’s future (MERICS Experts Episode 30 / February 28, 2017)

China’s official media like to criticize “hostile foreign forces” and “Western values” that purportedly undermine the country. Western institutions are equally singled out for their “inefficiency” in dealing with problems and crises. But do these arguments resonate with the Chinese public? Is there rising anti-Western nationalism in China? Those questions were tackled by three eminent China experts, Susan Shirk, Orville Schell and David Bandurski, on February 22 at the MERICS “China Dispute” in Berlin. Nationalism was a handy tool for the Chinese government to rally support, they said, but liberal voices had not disappeared – despite stringent controls and strict censorship. You can listen to an edited version of the debate, moderated by MERICS researcher Kristin Shi-Kupfer, in our latest Merics Experts Podcast.

James Kynge on the New Silk Road and the "China Dream" (Merics Experts Episode 29 / February 22, 2017)

The „New Silk Road“ or „One Belt One Road Initiative“ launched by China’s President Xi Jinping in 2013 is unprecedented in scope and reach. China wants to spend some $900bn on infrastructure projects connecting the Middle Kingdom to other parts of Asia, Africa and Europe. This, Beijing hopes, will create new markets for Chinese products and provide contracts for Chinese companies. But some projects have turned into “red elephants”, others have clear strategic and military dimensions, says James Kynge, seasoned China-watcher and former FT bureau chief in Beijing.  OBOR, he argues, is much more than Chinese-style globalization. Listen to James Kynge talking about China’s ambitions and the risks and opportunities of OBOR in the new Merics Experts Podcast.

Kevin Rudd on China’s nascent strategy for a new global order (Merics Experts Episode 27 / 12 October 2016) 

What does China really want with its foreign policy? Is there a grand strategy for Xi Jinping’s new multilateralism?  And is China’s „One Belt, One Road“ initiative maybe less about geopolitics and more of an encounter with the complex realities in some of the most unstable countries in the world? Former Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd has met Xi Jinping several times and last week shared his observations with MERICS. The experienced diplomat, politician and fluent Mandarin speaker gave a lecture at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and talked to MERICS Director Sebastian Heilmann. Listen to an edited version of the event in our new MERICS Experts podcast.

Zhang Jieping: There’s a huge appetite for independent journalism (Merics Experts Episode 26 / 5 October 2016)

These are tough times for independent media in China: Censorship and controls have increased considerably in recent years. The pressure is also felt in Hongkong despite the territory’s greater freedoms. Still, several media start-ups have sprung up in Hongkong recently.  One of the biggest is the online platform “Initium”. Within a year it has attracted more than two million regular readers although the site quickly got blocked on the mainland. Chief Editor Zhang Jieping says there’s a huge appetite for independent journalism. In the new Merics Experts podcast she talks about how to survive in a challenging political environment while sticking to her journalistic principles.

Richard McGregor on China's authoritarian future (Merics Experts Episode 24 / 4 August 2016)

For all its problems, China is an incredibly successful country and still has a lot of growth potential, says Richard McGregor, visiting fellow at George Washington University.  All gloomy scenarios about economic or political collapse have proved wrong so far. So, what if Xi Jinping succeeds in restructuring the economy and strengthening the Communist Party? China would emerge as a much more powerful country, says McGregor. However, there’s nothing in the party’s DNA that suggests China would be more accommodating internationally or more liberal domestically. That’s Richard McGregor in the latest Merics Experts podcast.  


  • Stiftung Mercator