October 16 – an extremely important day for China and the global (business) community

08:45 by Hubert Fromlet, Kalmar

October 16 this year should lead to a calendar entry by many politicians and business people around the globe. It is the day when China will start the five-yearly National Congress of the Communist Party (CCP National Congress, CCP NC), the 20th convention of this kind so far. But why is October 16 so special? The answer is very logical after having given some more details.

All important political appointments will happen in October

On October 16, 2300 CCP delegates from all over the country come together in Beijing to select more than 200 CCP members for the Central Committee of the CCP. After this first important step, things become even more interesting since the new members of Central Committee make their selection of 25 powerful members of the Politburo of the CCP. The members of the so-called Standing Committee (SD) will be appointed as well – by far the most powerful decision makers in China with currently totally seven people.

Currently, the Standing Committee still has to some extent a collective leadership. However, also within the SD, Xi Jinping’s power was enlarged markedly in recent years. During this time, Xi obviously worked successfully for being selected as the head of the CCP for a third term – indeed a very unusual renewal. Before him, only the CCP legend Mao Zedong had managed such an accumulation of personal power.

It seems to be a safe forecast that Xi will be re-appointed as head of the CCP and probably also be honored with the rare attribute “Chairman of the CCP” – a privilege that so far only Mao could enjoy. It is certainly worth-while mentioning as well that Prime Minister Li Keqiang will not have a third term and instead retire next spring. Also Li’s successor will be presented in the middle of October.

Altogether, it appears obvious that Xi Jinping created an enormous personal power platform for all important decisions which no one could foresee when he came into office a decade ago.

Chinese News agency Xinhua writes about the mood and the philosophy of the forthcoming CCP National Congress as follows:”The congress will hold high the great banner of socialism with Chinese characteristics, uphold Marxism-Leninism, Mao Zedong Thought, Deng Xiaoping Theory, the Theory of Three Represents and the Scientific Outlook on Development, and thoroughly implement Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era” (http://en.people.cn/n3/2022/0831/c90000-10141553.html).
Everything seems to be prepared – in general terms.

Many relevant messages to the corporate sector

I cannot recommend sufficiently to politicians and corporations – with direct or indirect business connections to China – to carefully analyze all the messages that will come from the 20 th CCC National Congress. Many companies can be affected when it comes to future direct investments (FDI), sales, purchasing and also production in China – i.e. when planning future expansion, stability of presence, reduction or withdrawal.

I do not want to comment more on the October congress in this article – but I will come back to the results of this decisive convergation and its impact on the corporate sector at the end of October.

Hubert Fromlet
Affiliate Professor at the School of Business and Economics, Linnaeus University
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