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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.

Interview with Daniel Leese

50 years after the start of the Cultural Revolution Xi Jinping tries to reconnect to China's Maoist heritage. But he won’t allow to mobilise the masses as Mao did, because he is afraid of losing control. Listen to Daniel Leese, professor of Chinese history at Freiburg University, in our MERICS Podcast.

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.

China’s decision to subject foreign NGOs to strict government control has triggered international outrage. But the Overseas NGO Law, while further narrowing the space for political engagement in China, is not primarily an attempt to shut China off from Western influences. Rather, it is part of a strategy to develop a domestic – and domesticated – non-profit sector.

Donald Trump’s rants against China have not hurt his popularity in Chinese social media debates. China’s netizens view the Republican presidential candidate as a pragmatic businessman who could fix relations between the world’s two biggest economic powers. And many would certainly prefer him to Hillary Clinton. 

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.

Australia’s decision to buy French, not Japanese, submarines is far from an attempt to appease Beijing. On the contrary, the arms deal is bound to strengthen US-led efforts to push back against China’s muscular posture in the Asia-Pacific.

Worker unrest mirrors China’s falling growth rates. A growing number of labour protests in the private construction and manufacturing sector may cause the government to reconsider its plans for much-needed reforms in the state sector.

The Detroit Auto Show has long set the tone for the global car industry, but a new player on the other side of the world could prove to be a bigger player. As the Beijing Motor Show begins on Monday, it’s worth taking a closer look at China’s auto industry. 

The US claims that China’s internet controls may violate the rules of global trade. This line of argument exposes a dilemma for China’s leaders who struggle to uphold an increasingly authoritarian system in an era of deepening international Integration.

Interview with Yuen-ying Chan

Media freedom in China has suffered under president Xi Jinping, and Professor Yuen-ying Chan agrees that these are hard times for Chinese journalists. In our MERICS Podcast, the director of the Journalism and Media Studies Centre at Hongkong University also argues that independent journalism in China still exists.

China's grand plan to become a football superpower are in line with a long list of ambitions to become No. 1 in the world - and its leaders are likely to pursue it with the same Determination.

As rising tensions in the South China Sea worry policymakers from Washington to Brussels, the US and the EU should seize the opportunity to cooperate with China in another part of the world. China’s growing role in the Mideast and its “One Belt, One Road” initiative could be a starting point for non-traditional maritime security cooperation.

A few years ago, Western countries feared that China’s forays into Africa would cut them off from commodities. In light of current low prices it looks as if China made a mistake when it secured access to resources through risky Investments.

The revelation that his brother-in-law used offshore tax havens to hide his wealth is more than an embarrassment for China’s president Xi Jinping. His anti-corruption campaign will only have domestic credibility once family members of the party leaders can be subjected to investigations.

Tensions in the South China Sea may escalate when an international tribunal rules on China’s maritime claims. Europe may feel far removed from the conflict, but European involvement and transatlantic coordination could be instrumental in defusing the dangerous Situation.

China’s leaders deeply believe in digital solutions to meet the country’s challenges – and they don’t leave their development up to the private sector. In part 4 of our series on the 13th five-year plan, Mirjam Meissner describes their highly innovative plans to spur new economic growth – and to strengthen social Control.

In Part 3 of our series on the 13th five-year plan, Jessica Batke shows how the CCP hopes to foster a sense of national identity by instilling cultural and moral values among the population. A key part of this constructed identity is closeness with the Party itself.

In Part 2 of our series on the 13th five-year plan, Sandra Heep explains why China’s ambitious growth target will exacerbate many of the country’s economic problems. She argues that the looser monetary and fiscal policy necessary to reach this goal will put depreciation pressure on the renminbi, inflate asset prices and increase China’s debt burden.

Five-year plans in the PR China are more than a relic of the Mao era. Rather than stipulating industrial output in a planned economy, today’s plans serve as roadmaps for China’s future. The MERICS team took a closer look at the recently adopted 13th five-year plan. In the first part of our series, Lea Shih presents ten of the biggest changes from the previous plan.

China seems to have shelved its controversial draft law on foreign NGOs, at least for now. Rather than cracking down on Western civil society organisations in China, a new charity law increases the scope for domestic philanthropy. The strategy seems to align with the ‘Made in China 2025’ technology roadmap: the goal is to build up Chinese champions who can compete against Western organisations.

Is the crack down on one of Hong Kong’s top newspapers a result of China’s stricter media policy or retaliation for a specific article? Or is it meant to boost the paper’s credibility as an independent news source before the impending takeover by Alibaba?

The recent increase of the EU’s steel imports from China is not a harbinger of China flooding European markets with its industrial overcapacities. The steel industry is suffering from global overcapacities, not just China’s. Fears of a disruptive surge of Chinese imports in other industries currently seem overblown.

China's top entrepreneurs have stepped up their game to influence the country's political agenda. This year's National People's Congress provides evidence of that.

Rather than presiding over another round of double-digit growth in China’s military budget, President Xi Jinping wants to turn the world’s largest military into a truly modern armed force.