President Xi Jinping has launched the largest ideological campaign in post-Mao China, which has brought a Maoist revival. But Xi is not in a position to make a full return to the Mao era because ideologically driven repression offers no long-run solution to China’s problems. Drawing on elements of Mao’s legacy, Xi aims to rebuild the regime’s legitimacy when it is increasingly vulnerable to economic slowdown and public anger about corruption, income disparity, and pollution, an embarrassing confession of regime fragility.

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