The Stiftung Mercator is sole shareholder of the Mercator Institute for China Studies, one of a total of 13 affiliated organizations. The Foundation nominates one representative to MERICS’ Advisory Board. This board of international decision-makers advises MERICS’ management on issues of tactical perspective and strategic vision. The Board consists of diplomats, academics, representatives of private foundations, business representatives and journalists with China experience.

Advisory Board
Ann Mettler

Ann Mettler

Vice President, Europe at Breakthrough Energy & Gates Ventures
Malin Oud

Malin Oud

Head of the Raoul Wallenberg Institute’s Stockholm office
Marietje Schaake

Marietje Schaake

International Director of Policy at the Cyber Policy Center der Stanford University
Petra Sigmund

Petra Sigmund

Director General for Asia and the Pacific at the German Foreign Office


In the initial phase from 2013 to 2018, the Mercator Foundation was MERICS’ sole funder. In the second phase from 2019 to 2023, MERICS is securing co-funding from public and private institutions. MERICS is offering members and partners new opportunities for closer cooperation. For transparency, MERICS publishes an annual financial overview on its website starting with the year 2024 and discloses sources of income and financial support.

Principles: scholarship, independence, and transparency

MERICS is a research institute committed to the highest standards of organizational, intellectual, and personal integrity and independence. An International Scientific Council advises the MERICS management on the institute‘s research strategy.

As an independent, non-profit think tank, we also advise the German Parliament and German government through our research. Since March 29, 2022, MERICS has been listed in the German Lobby Register, alongside many other research institutes. Thus, we follow the code of conduct of an institution listed in the lobby register. You can find us here with the register number R003904.

International Scientific Council

To preserve our intellectual freedom while forging partnerships with members and partners who want to support our work or commission research products and associated services, MERICS applies the following principles:  

  • MERICS's research observes rigorous scientific practice – as laid down in the guidelines of the German Research Foundation (DFG).
  • MERICS will not accept funding or rewards of any kind that seek to control the direction, content, or findings of its research and projects   
  • MERICS retains sole editorial control over its ideas and products. All views, positions, and conclusions expressed in our publications should be understood to be solely those of the authors  
  • Arrangements between MERICS and project funders or members shall not inhibit the free dissemination of research results or stipulate any predetermined result or policy stance, either personally or institutionally  
  • MERICS does not engage in lobbying to influence specific legislation  
  • MERICS prioritizes European funding sources and does not accept funding from any actor or entity that is anti-democratic or beholden to anti-democratic actors