GDP growth is slowing in China, but some investors believe large cap stocks with exposure to the country are still safe bets.
The market volatility surrounding the upcoming Chinese leadership change creates an opportunity to find the right long-term investments, Saira Malik, managing director of equity investments at TIAA-Cref, told CNBC's "Squawk Box".
"As we move through the transition of power in China, it's going to be crucial to put the right reforms in place in order to accelerate growth," said Malik. "If they're successful in this, then China could be the final piece in a revival of global equities as U.S. macro data remains strong, Europe stabilizes, and we get through the fiscal cliff."
Companies with strong free cash flow and profitability are at the top of TIAA-Cref's list, said Malik.
She pointed to fast food restaurant operator Yum! Brands as an example. Yum! earns 45 percent of its profits from China, primarily from its KFC chains, and has $1 billion in free cash flow. The company benefits from strong pricing in China during a period of low inflation, which has driven 15 percent growth in profits, said Malik.