China’s party congress will matter for investors this time

First published: ft.com, 16/10/2017; Financial Times, 17/10/2017

Xi is turning his focus to the economy just as the $10tn equity market enters the MSCI

It is a sign of the times when markets have China’s 19th Party Congress in their sights. This highly scripted but opaque gathering, held every five years, is not typically a market-moving event. This time, though, President Xi Jinping’s position at home, and China’s on the world stage, make for a more intriguing Congress, and investors should keep a close eye on what transpires.

Beyond the rituals of assessing accomplishments and airing broad policy objectives, most of the focus at the Congress will be on nominees to high office; the futures of Premier Li Keqiang and of Wang Qishan, Mr Xi’s close colleague and head of the anti-corruption campaign, and whether Mr Xi, himself, might stay in office for more than the normal 10 years. Otherwise, the Congress is expected to be a sort of coronation of the president, who has consolidated firm control over the Communist party, the People’s Liberation Army and the internal security apparatus, and become personally identified with key campaigns, including those emphasising the China dream of the great rejuvenation of….Read more:

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