MacFarquhar: China’s strong top man heads a very fragile system

June 30, 2016

Xi Jinping has centralized power in China to unprecedented levels: he has sidelined both the prime minister and the state council and is trying to control everything himself says distinguished Harvard historian Roderick MacFarquhar. Xi might have – like Mao Zedong long before him - a vision and a sense of direction for China but he lacks the authority and historic legitimacy to implement his ideas. Even worse: his leadership style weakens the entire system. That’s Roderick Macfarquhar in the new Merics Experts podcast.

China Dispute: Will Top-Down Leadership Achieve Political Stability?

June 28, 2016

Review of MERICS China Dispute “The Xi Jinping challenge: Will top-down leadership achieve political stability in China?” with Richard McGregor, Roderick MacFarquhar, Sebastian Heilmann and Anthony Saich.

Arthur Kroeber: "China’s economic policies lack clarity and direction"

June 9, 2016

With the right economic policies China could continue to grow at a rate of about five per cent per year for another decade says Arthur Kroeber of Gavecal Dragonomics, an independent research firm in Beijing. But the country would have to cut SOEs by up to a half and push through financial reforms. However, Xi Jingping’s economic policies lack clarity and direction. China still depends too much on stimulus measures and credit to keep the economy going. Little change is in the offing with the 19th party congress already looming large.

Shawn Shieh: New NGO-Law – The door for international NGOs remains open

May 26, 2016

Many non-governmental organisations are concerned about a new Chinese law that imposes tighter controls on international non-profit groups working in China. The law is seen as an attempt to further squeeze the space of civil society. It could affect not just NGOs but also cultural exchanges and business associations. But a lot of details are still unclear, says Shawn Shieh, deputy director of China Labour Bulletin, an NGO based in Hongkong. How draconian the law is going to be depends largely on its implementation – in China that is often a rather patchy process.