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.
Like many other fragments of information that trickle out of the black box of China’s leadership, the new usage of the term “hexin” could mean several different—opposing—things.
Like his predecessors, Xi Jinping has coined political terms to display visionary leadership. The evolution of these phrases provides a window into how political concepts are formed within the Party and how they are tested among the Public.
China has a huge stake in a peaceful transformation of North Korea, but it has so far shown little inclination to do something about it. Is this about to Change?
The economic and political costs of granting Market Economy Status (MES) to Beijing without extracting concessions in return would be too high. In addition to economic interests, political and strategic considerations should also guide the EU’s decision.
Accepting its trading partner China as a market economy does not need to be a bad deal for the EU. The costs of Chinese dumping to the European economy are often overestimated. And levelling the playing field may even incentivise Chinese companies to be more transparent in calculating costs and Prices.
China’s articulation of a vision of international order may be in its early stages. But some central elements are out – time for Europe and the US to start working on an answer.
Prospects for crisis resolution in the Asia-Pacific are better than between Russia and the West. Despite abundant conflicts, none of the major powers in the region tries to actively destabilise the other – leaving room for informal compromise and ad-hoc arrangements to maintain peace.
China did not feature prominently at this year’s MSC. But the participation of Fu Ying, Chairwoman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National People’s Congress, in a panel discussion moderated by MERICS director Sebastian Heilmann made clear: China is willing to get involved, albeit hesitantly and according to its own rules.
The Munich Security Conference so far mainly provides an opportunity to talk about China, but not with China. Europeans need to improve the channels to engage Asia and China in security dialogues.
China’s overdue structural reforms, rapidly increasing debt, growing industrial overcapacities combine to produce declining growth in spite of monetary and fiscal stimulus efforts. This current situation displays many analogies with Japan’s economic turbulence in the early 1990s, but carries a much graver risk of social and political destabilisation.
China’s leaders want to establish the yuan as a global asset and transaction currency. But this won’t work as long as exchange rates are driven by conflicting domestic policy targets rather than by global markets.
The old world order – the Pax Americana - is falling apart. What does China think about all of this? Beijing realises that it needs to do more to maintain a reasonable minimum of international order – and that it needs to work with the United States towards that purpose.