MERICS strives to encourage European students and young graduates to deepen their engagement with contemporary China. From the 6th until 8th of May 2015 MERICS invited fifteen outstanding students from all over Europe to participate in the MERICS European China Talent Program.
With their diverse spectrum of academic backgrounds and eleven different countries of origins, the highly motivated group of participants brought together a broad range of perspectives on and experiences with China. They engaged in intensive discussion covering a broad range of current topics and thereby laying the foundation for a long-lasting network of future European China experts.
The participants with their different academic backgrounds from eleven countries of origins, who are connected through their common interest in China made the program unique.
The three-day program covered political as well as business-related topics. Regarding the trajectory for international businesses engaged in China, the participants met with practitioners from the Automobile, Renewable Energies, Smart Manufacturing and Information- and Communication Technology sectors. Based on these insights, the participants identified future developments and challenges for each sector.
In addition, the young China experts debated the need for a co-ordinated European foreign policy towards China and how such a co-ordinated policy could be achieved. Again, the participants gained insights into how EU-China relations are shaped through meetings with practitioners, debating current issues with members of the East Asia Department of the German Federal Foreign Office and the East Asia and the Pacific Department of the European External Action Service. The lively discussions focussed on how Europe should best respond to the newly founded AIIB, a possible Bilateral Investment Treaty between the EU and China and issues of Cyber Security.