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In the French election campaign, trade with China and Chinese investment raise similar controversies as in the U.S. last fall. Even if a moderate candidate wins, France is likely to adopt a tougher stance vis-à-vis China.

China’s military ambitions are approaching Europe‘s backyard. There is potential for cooperation – but over the longer term, the two sides may find their interests conflict more often than not.

China's new system of circuit tribunals improves citizens’ access to the justice system. But the regional courts under direct control of the Supreme Court also tighten the Communist Party’s grip over the judiciary.

The U.S. withdrawal from TPP and TTIP leaves the EU as the main advocate of high regulatory standards in international trade agreements. The Trump administration’s anti-trade rhetoric may have created an opening for Brussels to get concessions from Beijing and to bolster its position through agreements with other Asian countries.

(via The Diplomat)

Europe’s increasing police and judicial cooperation with China raises difficult questions, especially with regard to extradition. Governments should make sure the cooperation does not undermine international and European legal norms.

In the absence of U.S. and European leadership, China is emerging as the world’s best hope in the fight for climate change. Despite tremendous near-term challenges, Beijing’s political commitment and forward-looking policies could turn China into a model for building an alternative energy economy.

As China imposes tighter controls on capital outflows, China’s global M&A activities may decelerate. However, German companies are likely to remain attractive targets for Chinese buyers for strategic, geopolitical, and business reasons.

The Xi Jinping administration plans to institutionalize its anti-corruption campaign in a new powerful state organ, creating a permanent tool for investigation and prosecution. The reform suggests the introduction of extra-party supervision while it actually expands the CCP’s reach.

Interview with Philippe Le Corre (via Young China Watchers)

As the recent surge of investment from China has fueled heated debate in Europe, Chinese investors struggle with the challenge of becoming a part of the European corporate landscape. Young China Watchers spoke about this dilemma with Philippe Le Corre, visiting fellow in the Center of the United States and Europe at Brookings Institution, and author of a new book on "China's Offensive in Europe."

(via The Diplomat)

Berlin wants to manage the geopolitical implications and to ensure the economic sustainability of China’s pet Project.

The world's current leaders in advanced manufacturing must prepare for growing competition and ensure that China’s industrial upgrade doesn’t come at their expense, the authors of a new MERICS Paper on China argue in an article for our partner publication The Diplomat.

Rolf J. Langhammer

US President-elect Donald Trump has continued branding China as a currency manipulator – accusing the country of keeping the yuan low to help Chinese exports and harming jobs in the US. But in fact China’s currently intervenes in the opposite direction to prevent a weakening of the yuan – supporting American Jobs.

Government intervention has so far averted a crisis in China’s booming property market. But local and central efforts to prevent bubbles from building up have created new risks for the economy.

Donald Trump’s election as US president has increased expectations for China to act as a responsible global power. But Beijing is unlikely to fill these expectations, and China risks being harmed by the fallout of an erratic and possibly reckless US foreign policy. 

Rolf J. Langhammer

The EU should speed up negotiations about a Bilateral Investment Treaty with China. With US trade policy in limbo after the election of Donald Trump, there is an opportunity for Brussels to move ahead with Beijing.

By Jessica Batke*, Julia Breuer and Matthias Stepan


Beijing has made good on its promise to make a greater number of high-level government documents available to the public. Yet the principle of CCP rule will ultimately define the boundaries of transparency.

Chinese security policy experts use potential threats to BRI projects, such as recent terrorist attacks in Central Asia, to highlight the necessity of a globalized security posture.

Donald Trump‘s election victory was met in China with a mixture of triumphalism and concern about the consequences. Trump’s win is seen as both, a victory for democracy and a symbol for the demise of the US.

Central European countries vie to position themselves as transit hubs in China’s ambitious Eurasian trade corridors. The enthusiasm is tempered by concerns that the new transportation lines will ultimately increase the region’s trade deficit with China.

Anna Wang and Matthias Stepan

China struggles to rein in the accumulation of public sector debt at the provincial and municipal level through new financing vehicles. The promotion of public-private partnerships (PPPs) will not solve the problem as long as many of the “private” partners in such infrastructure funding projects are state-owned enterprises.

Chinese media consumers turn to overseas Chinese language websites for political news beyond Beijing’s propaganda. China’s leaders fear these outlets for their open reporting, but many use them to test political proposals or to leak information about intra-party rivals. The complex imbroglio is a result of the lack of press freedom and the opaqueness of Chinese politics.

Cheap internet-connected devices made in China are becoming a major threat to global IT security. China will have to regulate the “Internet of Things” so that everyday household items cannot be used to launch cyber attacks.

European efforts to build up ASEAN as a strategic partner are thwarted by Beijing’s increasing economic and diplomatic influence on individual South East Asian governments.

China has made impressive strides to increase the coverage of social policy programs like health insurance and old age pension plans. Yet slower economic growth and China's demographic challenges might make it difficult to continue the success Story.

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