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MERICS Podcast

MERICS Podcast

MERICS researchers discuss and analyze developments and current affairs in China: What is behind the Belt and Road Initiative? What kind of leader is Xi Jinping?  How should we assess China’s climate change policies? How does the Chinese government use social media to its own ends?  

The podcasts are approximately 10 to 15 minutes long. In addition to MERICS’s own staff, other experts on China and guest speakers at MERICS also take part in the interviews.

Follow us on Soundcloud or iTunes to see which podcasts we are currently airing or click on the RSS feed here to subscribe to our channel.

Isabel Hilton: Civil society still has an enormous role to play in China (MERICS Experts #35 / May 30, 2017)

Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and independent journalists have played a vital role in raising awareness in China of the dangers of air pollution and other environmental challenges. Yet under the leadership of Xi Jinping, the climate for NGOs has become noticeably chillier, especially with the introduction of a new law earlier this year on overseas organizations. But “civil society still has an enormous role to play,” says Isabel Hilton, editor of China Dialogue, an environmental website that has offices in both London and Beijing. In the new MERICS Experts Podcast, she talks about the spaces for NGOs and the media in today’s China and how to navigate a tricky political environment. 

Nationalism and the ideological battle for China’s future (MERICS Experts #33 / 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 #32 / 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 #28 / 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 #27 / 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.

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The  Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS)is a Stiftung Mercatorinitiative. Established in 2013, MERICS is a Berlin-based institute for contemporary and practical research into China.

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