China´s lawmakers are preparing for their annual sessions of the advisory CPPCC and the National People´s Congress. Among them a large amount of influential business people. Political analyst Victor Shih explains the interaction between business and politics in China in the New York Times.
The New York Times:
A seat on one of the two bodies is highly desirable, not because the positions are powerful, but because being a delegate provides access to the highest echelons of the party and the government. It is also a clear sign to potential business partners and rivals of political clout.
Membership in either body can also provide wealthy Chinese with protection from government actions that could hurt their businesses — something that wealthy Americans can achieve by hiring lobbyists, lawyers and public relations consultants — said Victor Shih, an associate professor at the University of California, San Diego, who studies the confluence of finance and politics in China.
Because the two Chinese bodies have “many positions where businesspeople can legitimately obtain such protection, the wealthy business elite use their influence to obtain positions in these bodies,” Mr. Shih said.
Among the delegates who will convene at the Great Hall of the People this week are some of the most famous names in corporate China, including Pony Ma, chief executive of Tencent Holdings; and Robin Li, chief executive of the Google rival Baidu Inc. The Hurun list also includes some Hong Kong tycoons who are members, among them Victor Li, the son of Li Ka-shing, the chairman of Cheung Kong Holdings. Hong Kong, part of China since 1997, sends delegates to Beijing every March for the meeting.
We summarized our take on China´s major trends for 2015. Click here for an overview.