Doing Government Affairs in the New Normal -- AmCham’s First GA Annual Conference

On March 18, 2015, DaoHe President Jane Zhang spoke at the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) Chinese Government Affairs Committee Annual Conference in Beijing.

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In her speech, Ms. Zhang identified trends defining government relations in China and offered practical advice on engaging with government leaders at both the central and local levels. As China enters a "New Normal" and an era of "Big Change," she emphasized, it is critical for government affairs function to fully integrate with business operations at the highest levels of company strategic planning. To tackle the challenges resulting from limited resources and an increasing demand for GA support, Ms. Zhang advised companies to train employees throughout the company to understand the role that individuals play in overall GA efforts.

In explaining the characteristics of Chinese policy making, Ms. Zhang contrasted the philosophy of Chinese and Western policy makers, and introduced the concept of "strategic ambiguity" by which the Chinese government leaves room for policy interpretation and improvement. In this context, it is vital that companies maintain systematic engagement with government entities and continuously monitor policy to capture signals of upcoming trends, anticipate policy changes and identify potential opportunities or risks before these policy changes take place.