Middle Tennessee companies receive update on China’s 19th Party Congress

At a breakfast presented by the Chamber’s International Business Council, Baker Donelson and the TN-China Network, speakers Jake Laband from the US-China Business Council in Beijing, Jeremy Goldkorn of SupChina and the Sinica Podcast and John Scannapieco from Baker Donelson discussed outcomes and business implications of the Congress.

Laband, based in Beijing, summarized the results of the Party Congress, highlighting the power of President Xi Jinping and offering a media study comparing coverage of the Party Congress’ since 1970. Examining cover pages of the China Daily News, we see that no Chinese leader since Chairman Mao Zedong has received as much coverage devoted to a single person. Previous coverage of the President did not overshadow that of fellow members of the Politiburo Standing Committee. This is a dynamic illustration of President Xi’s official recognition as the party’s “core” leader.

The new Party Constitution Amendments were also discussed. Laband outlined three new amendments, including the addition of “Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era” which basically means China will play a larger role on the global stage.  

Other amendments discussed reflect Xi’s economic priorities such as “Supply-side Structural Reform” and the “One Belt, One Road initiative,” an ambitious plan to create trade connectivity and cooperation along the Silk Road Economic Belt and the Maritime Silk Road.

The results of the US-China Business Council 2017 Member Survey: The Business Environment in China survey were also highlighted. Key findings show that member companies are seeing an improving China market with higher profitability, but most regulatory challenges remain unchanged. Policy stagnation, protectionism, tech transfer, IP and cyber security are all areas of concern.

The program ended with and audience Q&A with Jeremy Goldkorn, John Scannapieco and Laband.

The Chamber’s International Business Council is a cross section of the region’s international business leaders that provides programming and events for anyone interested in international business issues. For information on upcoming IBC events, sign up for their newsletter here. 

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