This article explores what methods the Chinese Communist Party has successfully employed to consolidate its power over the past twenty years.
It is hard to miss the self-congratulatory mood in Beijing's corridors of power these days. The Chinese Communist party was practically written off after its army crushed the pro-democracy movement in Tiananmen Square on June 4 1989. At home, it faced a shocked and resentful population. Internationally, it was isolated. The fall of communism in the former Soviet bloc further demoralised its members. A sense of impending doom permeated Beijing.
Twenty years later, things could hardly be more different. China is riding high as a new economic and geopolitical giant. The party's rule has never felt more secure.
Chinese leaders appear to believe that they have discovered the magic formula for political survival: a one-party regime that embraces capitalism and globalisation. Abroad, the party's success raises fears that it has established a viable new model for autocratic rule.