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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?

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.

Kenneth Lieberthal: China under President Xi Jinping

March 1, 2016

President Xi Jinping is the most powerful Chinese leader since Mao Zedong. He has centralised power and has cracked down hard on dissent. But, argues Kenneth Lieberthal of the Brookings Institution in Washington, Xi’s tight grip on power doesn’t necessarily make him a more efficient leader.

Jonathan Pollack: North Korea, South China Sea & Sino-US relations

February 28, 2016

As the UN Security Council negotiates a resolution that would impose new sanctions on North Korea following Pyongyang’s latest nuclear test earlier this year, pressure is mounting on China to act more assertively towards its neighbour and ally. “China must be prepared to be much tougher on North Korea than it has been so far”, says Jonathan Pollack of the Brookings Institution. He discusses North Korea, the South China Sea and Sino-US relations in the new Merics Experts Podcast.

Akio Takahara: China’s foreign policy & the difficult relations with Japan

February 1, 2016

After years of economic growth, China is claiming more influence on the international stage. Behind President Xi Jinping’s efforts to enhance China’s status as a nation lie domestic motives, says Akio Takahara in this podcast. Xi wants to maintain the power of the Communist Party, stability and economic growth of the country. Takahara, professor for contemporary Chinese politics at the university of Tokyo and visiting academic fellow at MERICS, analyses China’s ambitious foreign policy from a Japanese angle. He gives keen insights into the ups and downs in the relationship between Beijing and Tokyo, and describes the worries of the neighboring countries over China’s growing assertiveness in territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

Scott Kennedy: China’s economy and the new five year plan

January 1, 2016

For the current leaders “muddling through” is good enough
As China gets ready to welcome the year of the monkey and to adopt a new five year plan, Scott Kennedy of the Center for International and Strategic Studies in Washington (CSIS) examines the challenges for the Chinese leadership. Sluggish growth and clumsy stock market interventions have cast a shadow of doubt on the leadership’s ability to manage the economy.
How can China move from investment-led growth to more consumption and services? “China still has the chance to grow relatively rapidly for a decade or two if they adopt the right policies”, says Kennedy. But he also has a stark warning for the leadership under Xi Jinping: “If China doesn’t become more productive and innovative soon and doesn’t improve its regulatory environment, a lot of foreign investment is going to go elsewhere.” Listen to our “MERICS Experts” podcast with Scott Kennedy.