Like all contemporary nondemocratic systems, the Chinese system suffers from weak legitimacy at the level of regime type. The most likely form of transition for China remains the model of Tiananmen, when three elements came together: a robust plurality of disaffected citizens, a catalytic event, and a split in the leadership. Had China chosen the path of dialogue in 1989, it might be more stable today.
China Since Tiananmen: Authoritarian Impermanence
Issue Date July 2009
Page Numbers 37-40