This article assumes that whether the current Chinese authoritarian government can maintain socio-political stability during the potentially turbulent transition to the post-Deng Xiaoping era depends, at least in part, upon the level of popular support for the political regime (or regime legitimacy). Based on data derived from a sample survey of Beijing residents, this study seeks to address two fundamental questions: “To what extent does the current Chinese communist regime enjoy public support?” and “What are the possible sources of popular support for the political regime in contemporary China?” The findings in this study suggest that (1) the current communist regime still enjoys a moderately high level of popular support, and (2) popular support for the regime is most likely to be found among those who are optimistic about the country's economic and political futures, who are most satisfied with their life, who give high evaluations of incumbent policies, who often follow public affairs, and who are older. Based on these findings, the article concludes that the current communist regime seems to have a good chance of remaining legitimate among a majority of the Chinese people, while it is still facing serious challenges from its policy performance in some major public policy areas.

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