Aya is a PhD candidate at AREA Ruhr and graduated with a masters in International Relations and International Organisations with a focus on East Asia from the University of Groningen. During her undergraduate in East Asian Politics at Ruhr-University Bochum she spent one semester at Zhejiang University of Technology in Hangzhou studying Chinese language. Aya gained practical experience as a research assistant at the chair of East Asian Politics at Ruhr-University Bochum and as an intern at the Austrian Embassy in Beijing as well as at Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) in Beijing. She works on China, Japan as well as South Korea. At the moment Aya is working as a Freelance Consultant for the GIZ in Beijing. At Mapping China Aya is the administrative head of the Journal Team and part of the Board of Directors.

Tatjana Romig



Tatjana is based in Taipei and works at National Taiwan University. She holds a Master’s degree in Political Science and Chinese Studies from the University of Heidelberg as well as Bachelor’s degree in East Asian Economics and Politics from the Ruhr-University Bochum. During her studies she spent time abroad studying Chinese at Fudan University in Shanghai as well as at National Taiwan Normal University in Taipei. Tatjana gained first professional experience at the Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS) in Berlin, the Stiftung Asienhaus (Asiahouse Foundation) in Cologne and as a research assistant at the University of Heidelberg’s department of Political Science. Her research focuses on regional dynamics as well as on development policy in East Asia. She is one of Mapping China’s co-founders and a member of the Board of Directors.

Julia Tatrai



Julia graduated with a masters in Political Science at the Free University of Berlin while working as a research assistant at the Research Centre (SFB) 700 “Governance in Areas of Limited Statehood”. During her undergraduate in East Asian Politics at Ruhr-University Bochum she gained practical experience interning at the German Chamber of Commerce in Beijing supported by a PROMOS-grant, the Austrian embassy in Beijing as well as at the Asia-Pacific office of Friedrich-Ebert Foundation in Singapore.  Julia holds a scholarship of the Friedrich-Ebert Foundation and is member of the board of the public charity Abaana Uganda e.V. At the moment, she is in Nairobi for an internship and field research related to her master thesis.



Dominic is a political scientist from Mainz, Germany, where he also earned his B.A. degree. He recently finished his master’s program in Heidelberg, during which he also made his first experience in China at the Foreign Studies University in Beijing (北京外国语大学). Now he is located in Berlin, Germany, working for the Federation of German Industries e.V. At Mapping China, he is responsible for the website and supports the Mapping China Journal.

straton papagianneas


Straton Papagianneas is a PhD Candidate in Chinese Studies at the University of Leiden. He focuses on the adoption of new digital technologies in Chinese courts as part of the legal reform agenda. He previously studied International Law at the University of Wuhan and holds an MA and BA degree in Chinese Studies from the University of Heidelberg and the Catholic University of Leuven, respectively. He is also a translator and editor for the Stanford Law School’s China Guiding Cases Project. His academic interests include Chinese law; China & International Law and Global Governance; Chinese political history and public policy; and communist ideology. 


Tobias Adam


Tobias studierte Regionalwissenschaften China und Politikwissenschaften auf Diplom in Köln und Wuhan und schloss sein Studium mit einer Diplomarbeit zum Thema „Konfuzius-Institute als Teil der chinesischen Soft-Power Strategie“ ab. Von September 2015 bis Januar 2016 verbrachte er einen Sprach- und Forschungsaufenthalt an der Tamkang Universität in Taibei. Zurzeit ist er Promotionsstudent an der Universität zu Köln im Bereich “Moderne China-Studien“.

Julia Ahrens


Thomas studiert zur Zeit im Master International Relations an der Jacobs University Bremen und der Universität Bremen. Zuvor hat er im Bachelor Philosophie und Sozialwissenschaften an der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin mit dem Schwerpunkt politische Philosophie und Ethik im globalen Kontext sowie internationale Politik studiert. Zudem hat Thomas für ein Semester an der Zhejiang University in Hangzhou studiert und ein Praktikum bei der GIZ China in Beijing absolviert. Er arbeitet im Think Tank Team von Mapping China. 


Marianne is an LL.M student of Chinese Law at Zhejiang University in Hangzhou. During her undergraduate studies in Communication and Culture at Zeppelin University, she discovered her passion for ancient Chinese rhetorics and wrote about the concept of originality in China in the face of architectural mimicry and counterfeit products while studying Chinese in Taipei. After graduation she moved to Hangzhou in 2016, continuing to take a sociological perspective in her observations of the Chinese legal system. Her current research focuses on the legislation of the social credit system and the application of artificial intelligence in Chinese courts. She has worked at several editorial offices, the Mercator Institute for China Studies, the Future Research Department of Volkswagen AG, and the German Embassy in Ottawa.

Souvik Chakraborti

Souvik Lal Chakraborty

Souvik Lal Chakraborty is an independent researcher who recently completed his Master degree in Democratic Governance and Civil Society from the University of Osnabrück, Germany with DAAD Public Policy and Good Governance Scholarship. Previously he was selected as a Young India Fellow and before that he gained his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Jadavpur University, India. Souvik is interested in the issues of environmental governance, social movements, peace and conflict resolution and regional politics of South Asia.

Karin Chau


Karin studiert derzeit den Zweifachbachelor Chinastudien und Ökonomik an der Uni Münster. Sie ist gerade aus einem Auslandsaufenthalt auf Hainan und in Taiwan zurückgekommen und arbeitet nebenberuflich als Übersetzerin von chinesischer Literatur.


Gegenwärtig arbeitet Christian Flath bei der INRIX Europe GmbH. Davor hat er seinen Bachelor (Wirtschaft und Politik Ostasiens) und Master (Politik Ostasiens) an der Ruhr-Universität Bochum gemacht. Sein Themenschwerpunkt im Bachelor war Chinas Wasserproblem. Im Master hat er sich vor allem mit Faktionen, Princelings und Korruption in der Kommunistischen Partei Chinas beschäftigt.


Andrea studied her Bachelor in Cologne University in Modern China studies which also included a year in Chengdu at Southwest Jiaotong University. After that she worked for four years in a Chinese company in Germany. In 2016 she started her Master in International Relations in Groningen University with a focus on greater China.


Based in London, Laura Henneke is a visual sociologist specialised in urbanism. She studied Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning at the Technical University of Berlin, completed a dual degree Master’s in Architecture and Urban Design at the Technical University of Berlin and Tongji University Shanghai, and is currently doing a University of London-funded PhD in Visual Sociology at Goldsmiths College, University of London. Her main research interests are the migration of transnational traders to and from China, the New Silk Road / Belt and Road Initiative, architectures of logistics and transportation, and visual research methods. She is co-founder of Present Spaces, a collaborative unit at the intersection of research, design, sociology and urbanism (www.presentspaces.com), and an active member of the Centre of Urban and Community Research at Goldsmiths College as well as the PhD Migration Reading Group. Laura has lived, studied and worked in Berlin, Shanghai, Sydney and London and presented and exhibited her work in several international events.

Philipp Hertling


Philipp Hertling studiert an der Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen den Master of Education in Sinologie/Chinesisch und Germanistik. 2015 hat er im Rahmen seines Bachelorstudiums ein Semester an der Peking University erbracht. In seiner Bachelorarbeit hat sich Philipp mit der Darstellung der sino-afrikanischen Beziehungen im Programm von CCTV Africa (seit 2017 CGTN Africa) auseinandergesetzt. Seine Masterarbeit wird sich mit der Didaktisierung chinesischer Filmsequenzen für den ChaF-Unterricht befassen. Philipp ist Stipendiat der Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes. Für die Zeit nach seinem Studium plant er ein Praktikum am Goethe-Institut in Accra, Ghana, bevor er noch einmal für längere Zeit nach China gehen möchte.


Nicola Hoochhausen is currently studying a trilingual Master program in International Relations and European Studies at the Centre International de Formation Européenne in Nice, France, in cooperation with the University of Kent, UK. She was previously employed by the Federal Foreign Office in Berlin. From 2013-2016, she was posted to the German Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan.


Paulina is a sinologist specializing in international relations and political economy. She completed a degree in Chinese and Economics at SOAS, University of London, and holds an MSc in Contemporary Chinese Studies from the University of Oxford.

She is currently based in Beijing where she continues her research on the relations between China and Europe as a Yenching Scholar at Peking University.


Andreas Kechagias has earned a BSc in Information Technology in Greece and a BA in International Relations in Sweden. He is currently completing a master’s degree in International Relations in the University of Groningen. In his studies he has focused on issues of geopolitics, geoeconomics and interstate competition in cyberspace.

Josie-Marie Perkuhn

Josie-Marie Perkuhn

Josie-Marie Perkuhn studierte Politikwissenschaft und Klassische Sinologie in Heidelberg, Shanghai und Chengdu. Ihre Studienschwerpunkte umfassten internationale Beziehungen, regionale Asien- und Außenpolitikforschung sowie Philosophie, Religionen und Rechtstraditionen in China. Im Frühjahr 2012 schloss sie das Magisterstudium mit der Abschlussarbeit zum Thema „Verrechtlichung internationaler Beziehungen und die VR China“ erfolgreich ab. Anschließend absolvierte sie zwei Lehraufträge am Institut für Sinologie und arbeitete als Projektverantwortliche für die Trainingskooperation Taiwanese Executive Learning Program TELP am Institut für Politische Wissenschaft. Im 2012 begann sie das Promotionsstudium als LGF-Stipendiatin im Promotionskolleg „Politikperformanz autokratischer und demokratischer Regime“ am Institut für Politische Wissenschaft der Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg zur Volksrepublik China und internationalen Organisationen“. Gegenwärtig ist sie mit dem Taiwan Fellowship Programm 2017 an der National Chengchi University in Taipeh.

Erik Poleis

Erik Poleis

Erik is currently majoring in Chinese Law at the University of Trieste, Italy. As part of his studies, he also stayed in Shanghai and studied at Shanghai International Studies University (SISU). His main research interests are the one regarding Chinese law, economy, politics and its business aspects. He is also a contributing member of the SGroup Think Thank for China.

Barbara Pongratz

Barbara Pongratz

Barbara Pongratz is currently enrolled in a master’s degree program in Chinese Studies at Free University Berlin. Having studied and worked in several Chinese cities while obtaining her bachelor’s degree at Ludwig-Maximilian-University in Munich and Shanghai Tongji University, her research is focused on international relations as well as environmental politics in China. She is currently conducting research for her master thesis at Peking University and is gaining practical experience at Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).


Julia Breuer is a PhD candidate and a scholarship holder within the Doctoral Programme of the Alliance for Research on East Asia Ruhr (AREA Ruhr), Germany. Previously, she worked as a research assistant at the Department for International Political Economy of East Asia of Ruhr University Bochum. Julia holds an M.A. degree in East Asian Politics from Ruhr University Bochum as well as a B.A. degree in Chinese Studies and Sociology from the University of Hamburg.

Alexey A. Semenov

Alexey Alexandrovich Semenov (Алексей Александрович Семенов / 艾立和) is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Far Eastern Studies, Russian Academy of Science. As PhD Student, in 2015 he was a recipient of the Taiwan Fellowship (臺灣獎助金) and a visiting scholar at Tamkang University (淡江大學), Taipei, Taiwan. He completed both BA and MA degrees at the Faculty of Applied Political Science, National Research University – Higher School of Economics, Moscow, and postgraduate studies at the Institute of Far Eastern Studies RAS. His main research interests are international relations, foreign policy, transformation of political regimes, democratic transitions, and civil society in authoritarian states. He has worked for a number of projects and election campaigns in Russia, Ukraine and CIS countries. He collaborates with a number of Russian think tanks. He repeatedly made reports at meetings of the Organization of Security and Co-operation in Europe.

Matej Šimalčík

Matej Šimalčík

Matej currently focuses on cultural analysis of foreign policy, Chinese security policy, South China Sea conflict, and the role of narratives in international relations. He graduated from Masaryk University Law School (Czech Republic) in 2015 and is currently finishing his master in International Relations with specialization in East Asian Studies at the University of Groningen (Netherlands). As part of his studies, he also stayed in Beijing and studied at Tsinghua University.

Ritika Singh

Ritika Singh is a second-year student of MA International Relations: Social Theory and Global Governance, a joint program between University of Bremen and Jacobs University. A citizen of Nepal, she has been working and living in Bremen, Germany for the past year and a half. She is primarily interested in studies of foreign intervention and gender in international relations.

Sam Maxwell Smith

Sam Maxwell Smith

Sam Smith is a Management Trainee with John Swire & Sons, currently posted to Swire Coca Cola in Xiamen, China. He studied Chinese for undergraduate at the University of Oxford, specialising in Classical Chinese philosophy. He has achieved a Masters in Chinese/English interpreting at the University of Surrey and a Masters in International Affairs at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, where he also worked as a consultant for the Multilateral Diplomacy Programme at the United Nations Institute for Training and Research.

Thomas Otto

thomas otto

Thomas studiert zur Zeit im Master International Relations an der Jacobs University Bremen und der Universität Bremen. Zuvor hat er im Bachelor Philosophie und Sozialwissenschaften an der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin mit dem Schwerpunkt politische Philosophie und Ethik im globalen Kontext sowie internationale Politik studiert. Zudem hat Thomas für ein Semester an der Zhejiang University in Hangzhou studiert und ein Praktikum bei der GIZ China in Beijing absolviert. Er arbeitet im Think Tank Team von Mapping China. 

Kim Vender

Kim vender

Kim Vender is a PhD student of Politics and International Relations at the University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom. Her research focuses on Chinese foreign policy and China’s role in regional and global governance. In her current research project, she examines China’s role in international climate change negotiations. She obtained her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the Free University of Berlin and the Ruhr University Bochum, respectively.

Miquel Vila

Miquel Vila has recently graduated his Master’s degree at University of Groningen, where he majored in international security. Previously, he has earned a BA degree in Political Science by the Autonomous University of Barcelona. Miquel is interested in political realism, both on the international and state-level politics. Currently, he is focusing on the intersection between geopolitics, nationalism, populism and the crisis of the liberal order. He is also a political activist, involved in left-wing Catalan pro-independence movement and has written analytical articles about the topic. His last works has been published on Catalan online magazines such as the“Revista l’Endavant” and “Ab Origine”.

Elisabeth Waldmann

Elisabeth Waldmann studiert momentan im zweiten Semester China Business and Economics (M.Sc.) an der Universität Würzburg. Während ihres Bachelorstudium der Modernen Chinastudien in Würzburg verbrachte sie ein Auslandssemester an der Peking University. Ihre Forschungsinteressen liegen in der Wirtschafts- und Außenpolitik Chinas. Das vorliegende Working Paper ist aus ihrer Bachelorarbeit entstanden.


Madeleine Wiebalck

Madelaine hat letztes Jahr einen Master in Chinese Studies an der Uni Würzburg abgeschlossen. Zurzeit absolviert sie in Qingdao ein Praktikum im Bereich Business Development und Marketing und arbeitet nebenbei als ehrenamtliche Übersetzerin für ein buddhistisches Kloster.

lin zihao

Zihao finished his Bachelor in Communication at Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, and is currently a Master candidate in Media and Political Communication at Freie Universität Berlin. As part of the studies, he also stayed in Taipei and Helsinki. Zihao’s research interests include contemporary Chinese media system, cultural politics and the making of deaf collectivity in post-reform PRC.