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China Center Deep Dive Exchange Session Report: The Party Returns - Assessing the New Government Relations Challenges

Since coming to power in late 2012, Xi Jinping has overseen one of the most wide-reaching “re-forms” of the Communist Party of China (CCP) in more than four decades. The new “CCP-first” environment is having wide-ranging impacts on China’s governmental system, with the role of party organs being greatly expanded at the expense of the traditional actors – namely, the State Council and its attendant ministries and agencies -- in the policy design, implementation, and administration processes. This change bears significant impact on the government relations (GR) function for MNCs in China.

On May 9, the China Center convened its members for a Deep Dive Exchange session to discuss the business and GR-specific implications of the party’s expanding role in the economy and operating environment. Over 30 senior-most government relations and corporate affairs executives attended the meeting, and after The Conference Board experts kicked off the session with a review of the CCP re-empowerment campaign, the entire group engaged in peer exchange and discussion to drill down into member experiences, lessons learned, and best practices.

As always, the meeting observed Chatham House Rules, and this write-up is a high-level, sanitized synthesis of the discussion for members only.

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