This concluding chapter expresses how China presents a curious case of liberalization without democratization. It also reviews the key findings of the text and then responds to potential objections. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has responded to the rise of social and economic liberalization in an incremental and instrumental fashion. The Party's approach to social change is incremental in that it emerged piecemeal over time through a gradual learning process. It is also instrumental—designed to address the public's demands for political participation in ways that blunt pressures for broader political change. The chapter explains how the waxing and waning of the Party's tolerance of social activism is the CCP's greatest threat. Failing to sustain a degree of tolerance, responsiveness, and persuasion in the face of social pressure will be as destructive to the CCP's hopes for continued rule as is passive tolerance in the face of widening social protest and political dissent.
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