The People's Republic of China (PRC) challenges central paradigms of the political economy of authoritarian regimes like no other state. The stability of Chinese Communist Party (CCP) rule is even more remarkable when one considers that many political scientists warned of the imminent collapse of China's one-party authoritarianism. The consolidation of the Chinese one-party regime is expressed in a changing relationship between legitimating, co-optation and repression as strategies for maintaining CCP rule. Whereas the totalitarian Mao regime based its rule mainly on the combination of repression and indoctrination, Mao's successors made far less use of these instruments. The fact that the power vacuum that emerged after the death of Mao was not filled with higher performance legitimacy or an increase in co-optation benefited the emergence of social resistance against the regime. At this time, the regime strengthened the propaganda apparatus so as to create an ideological foundation for the extension of China's market liberalization and to increase popular support for the CCP.