Why has the Chinese communist state remained so durable in an age of democratization? Contrary to existing theories, this article argues that the strong state coercive capacity has survived the authoritarian rule in China. We demonstrate that the Chinese Communist Party has taken deliberate actions to enhance the cohesion of its coercive organizations—the police, in particular—by distributing “spoils of public office” to police chiefs. In addition, the state has extended the scope of its coercion by increasing police funding in localities where the state sector loses control of the population. We use and rely on mixed methods to test this theory.

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