European Voices on China

Regulating a bubble: why it’s so hard to crack down on shadow banking in China

06 June 2017

By Victor Shih

China aims to fight growing risks in its financial sector with restrictions on shadow banking assets and interbank lending. But a sudden reduction of liquidity could increase rather than reduce the risk of a financial panic and dampen growth.


Xiongan: A New City for the Xi Jinping Era

02 June 2017

By George G. Chen (via The Diplomat)

Beijing’s modern sister city will be a symbol of political power rather than economic development. In many ways, Xiongan is designed as an antithesis of Shenzhen and Pudong. 


"Civil society still has an enormous role to play in China"

30 May 2017

Interview with Isabel Hilton

The working conditions for NGOs and independent journalists in China have become harder under the leadership of Xi Jinping. But according to Isabel Hilton, “civil society still has an enormous role to play.” In the new MERICS Experts Podcast, the editor of China Dialogue, an environmental website based in London and Beijing, talks about how NGOs and the media in today’s China navigate a tricky political environment.


Why sanctions against North Korea don’t work

24 May 2017

By Sebastian Heilmann and Mikko Huotari

Economic sanctions are the foreign policy instrument of choice against many of the world’s dictators. But the resilience of the Kim regime and China’s unwillingness to support a complete economic boycott have made them ineffective in North Korea.


From worse to bad: a closer look at air quality in China

17 May 2017

By Maximilian Kärnfelt

Air pollution is a severe problem across China, but the levels of pollution vary greatly between regions. Though still a major challenge, air quality in urban centers like Beijing and Guangzhou is improving. Cities in the industrial heartland on the other hand have seen little to no progress.


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.