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The Perfect DictatorshipChina in the 21st Century$
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Stein Ringen

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9789888208937

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888208937.001.0001

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(p.1) Chapter 1 Leaders
The Perfect Dictatorship

Stein Ringen

Hong Kong University Press

Party-states are dictatorships. All the known ones in history have been dictatorships, and the remaining ones, including China, are dictatorships. Communist rule in China was dictatorial before the communists were in control of all of the country, established itself as a brute dictatorship nationally in 1949, and continued to be a deadly dictatorship under Mao. China today is a sophisticated dictatorship in which citizens are allowed many freedoms but only up to a point. At that point, when necessary, and often enough that no one is in doubt, the party-state clamps down, sometimes in crude and sometimes in subtle ways, and with whatever force is necessary. It bears being set down at the start and then not forgotten that the regime that presents itself to the world as reformed is one that still rules, ultimately, by fear, intimidation, violence, and death.

Keywords:   Political Science, China, Elite politics, Welfare State, Xi Jinping, Deng Xiaoping, Comparative politics, Socialist market economy, Corruption, Party state

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