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Over the last three decades and more, the track record for predicting future outcomes in Chinese politics has been notoriously unreliable. And yet envisioning the future as well as possible is an essential business planning exercise. Thus, we shouldn’t ignore the 19th Party Congress events out of some form of epistemic nihilism. Whatever the outcome, the decisions made explicitly or implicitly at the congress will have a profound effect on China’s future, including many issues of great importance for MNCs operating in China.
Foreign investors should plan for the continued politicization of the private sector, with party-state interests increasingly driving economic policy and investment flows with more open and vigorous participation even in the private sectors.