Understanding the 17th National Party Congress Go back »

2007-10-20 | All chapters

Understanding the 17th National Party Congress

On November 8th, the European Chamber in Shanghai held a seminar on the outcome of the 17th National Congress.

Mr. Reggie Lai, Senior Associate Director in APCO's Worldwide Investment and Government Relations Practice in Shanghai made a presentation to contextualize the most recent National Party Congress and how it impacts on society and the business environment in China.

Mr. Lai spoke on the political and social structure in China, highlighting the changing demographic and the effect it will have over the coming years. While the single children may currently enjoy a mollycoddled childhood with six people doting over them, a day will come when that one child may have to support all six, as well as their own little emperors, one or more.

The presentation continued with Mr. Lai going into depth on the structure, roles, responsibilities and real powers of the different arms of government: the Central Committee of the Communist Party, the National Peoples' Congress, the State Council and the Chinese Peoples' Consultative Conference. 

The promotion of the new '5th generation of leaders' to the critical executive positions has seen President Hu stamp his authority on the government while also continuing to involve some of the other groups that exist in the government. 

Mr. Lai concluded his comprehensive presentation with the statement, 'business as usual'. FDI will continue to grow but increasing focus will be on sustainable growth, avoiding over-heating in certain sectors and the development of key sectors.

It is clear that upper echelons of the Communist Party are as complicated and fiercely contested a web as any government structure around the world. This web is woven around issues of stability for the party, experience in dealing with the economic engine of the coastal regions and also rural issues for the less developed regions. 

The old guards are consolidated, their scripts clearly written, and the new generation waits in the wings, conceiving and developing their political ideologies and aims for China. These new men wish to realize the ambitions of their predecessors and see China continue its move from relative obscurity to centre stage in global economics and politics. Lofty ideals indeed.


To contact Mr. Reggie Lai (rlai@apcoworldwide.com) or his colleague Ms. Berenice Voets (bvoets@apcoworldwide.com) please call (21) 5298 4668