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European Voices on China
MERICS China Blog

MERICS reads the 13th five-year plan for you (Part 1: Ten things to note)

23 March 2016

By Lea Shih

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's new Charity Law, a 'Made in China 2025' strategy for philanthropy

18 March 2016

By Bertram Lang

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.


Censorship in China: How sexuality became an ideological battleground

18 March 2016

By Simon Lang

The new ban on homosexual content on television shows that the Communist Party’s promotion of traditional family values is out of touch with the lifestyle of China’s urban youth. The current policies also stigmatise heterosexuals who are single or divorced.


Censorship in China: Why a Hong Kong paper slipped behind the Great Firewall

16 March 2016

By Mareike Ohlberg

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 export of Chinese overcapacities won’t rattle Europe

09 March 2016

By Max J. Zenglein

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.



The MERICS blog offers commentary and analysis on China’s political, economic and social development as well as its role in global affairs (and its relations with Europe).


  • Stiftung Mercator