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Is the Chinese communist party sustainable?

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Please help me understand the major factors that shaped the Chinese communist party in the past to decades. Point out the strengths and weaknesses to decide if the system that evolved in China the past two decades is sustainable for the next two decades.

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Solution Summary

This problem gives an in-depth history of the Chinese Communist Party and attempts to forecast the future and sustainability of the CCP.

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OK, there are many factors that have shaped the Chinese communist party over the past two decades:

1. The decentralization reforms instituted by Deng Xiaoping in 1978-79, after the death of Mao, led to a partial dismantling of the communist economic structure, if not the political structure. This in turn led to a great economic boom, with GDP growth rates over 10% per decade and the emergence of both a substantial wealthy class and a fledgling middle class. This reality also meant that one didn't need to be a member of the party to get rich.

2. The advent of the internet, fax machines, and the collapse of the Soviet Union and its associated satellite states led directly to the Chinese populace demanding greater freedom and democracy. This of course culminated in the Tiananmen Square massacre, which showed that the Communist Party was willing to tolerate some basic economic freedom, but not political freedom (and thus avoid the fate of the Soviet Union). While the Party was united behind Mao until his death, the Party still remains steadfastly united that Tiananmen was correct and there is no dissent on this line.

3. Some grassroots-based populism has been allowed in China, however, which has shaped the way the Communist party deals with its own. In particular, ...

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