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Lavish spectacles such as the Beijing Olympics and Expo 2010 have raised China's global profile and echoed predictions of a rise to the position of a major world actor. Yet moves towards a market-based economy, together with the global recession, have exacerbated a number of political and social challenges for the Chinese government. The tensions between communist and capitalist identities continue to divide society. The People's Republic is now over sixty years old - an appropriate juncture at which to reassess the state of contemporary Chinese politics. In this substantially revised third edition, Saich delivers a thorough introduction to all aspects of politics and governance in post-Mao China, taking full account of the changes of the Seventeenth Party Congress and Eleventh National People's Congress. Recent political, economic and social developments are also examined.