About us

About the project

The Decoding China Dictionary is an independent non-profit project started by a group of China specialists with extensive academic and practical experience working on the Chinese political system, law, media, and international relations, as well as engagement with Chinese counterparts.

The main purpose of the project is to strengthen China expertise by explaining how key terms in international relations are understood and used by the Chinese government and affiliated party-state actors, and how that differs from their common understanding in the normative framework of the EU and UN. We draw primarily on and reference official sources in Chinese or in English.

Content in the dictionary is authored and compiled by the founding members and draws on previous work and feedback from scholars in the field. You can find the background of each member below.

The Decoding China Dictionary provides the content free of charge via our website https://www.decodingchina.eu and in PDF form. To be able to do this, we are grateful for the financial assistance to develop, host and expand the dictionary, organize events, pay our illustrator, graphic designers, web designers and editors, as well as translators to make the Decoding China Dictionary available in more languages.

If you want to support the project or invite us to speak about our work, please write to info@decodingchina.eu.

Author biographies

David Bandurski

David Bandurski is Director of the China Media Project, an independent research organisation that specialises in the study of Chinese-language media and the discourse of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) both within the PRC and globally. His books include Dragons in Diamond Village (Penguin/Melville House), a work of reportage on urban development in China, and Investigative Journalism in China.

Katja Drinhausen

Katja Drinhausen heads the Politics & Society Program at the Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS). Katja’s research focuses on the development of China’s legal and governance system, including digital governance and human rights in China. Katja studied Sinology as well as Chinese and international law, receiving her LL.M. from China University of Political Science and Law. From 2009 to 2016, she worked as a researcher and project coordinator for the Hanns Seidel Foundation in Beijing, organising political and academic exchange with Chinese partner institutions.

Jerker Hellström

Jerker Hellström is Director of the Swedish Center for China Studies, where he focuses on China’s foreign relations and industrial policies. He previously worked as Deputy Research Director at the Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI), where he headed the Asia and Middle East Programme. During 2014-2015, Jerker worked as a Deputy Director at the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs’ Office for Strategic Analysis, where he held the China portfolio. A journalist by training, Jerker worked as a Reuters correspondent in Shanghai and Stockholm from 2001-2008.

Malin Oud

Malin Oud is Director of the Stockholm office of the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law, where she also heads the Institute’s China Programme. She has worked on human rights and sustainable development in China for more than 20 years in different capacities, and was based in Beijing from 2000-2009. She studied Chinese language, Chinese law and international human rights law in Lund, Kunming, and London, and has an MA in International Development from Melbourne University. Malin is a Member of the Advisory Boards of Mercator Institute for China Studies and the Hong Kong-based NGO China Labour Bulletin.

Marina Rudyak

Marina Rudyak is an Assistant Professor in Chinese Studies at Heidelberg University and is currently an Interim Professor of China’s Society and Economy at Göttingen University. Her research focuses on Chinese foreign aid and international development cooperation, and the foreign policy discourse of the CCP. Previously she worked for the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) in Beijing (2009-2013) and in Bishkek (2006-2007). She studied Modern and Classical Chinese Studies and Public Law in Heidelberg and Shanghai, and holds an MA and PhD in Chinese Studies from Heidelberg University.