On my first visit to China, more than two decades ago, I was struck by its sprawling megacities and towering metallic skyscrapers, but stung by the reach of the Chinese authorities when I tried to get access to global news via the internet.

The Communist Party has gradually shifted from autocracy to democracy, however, adapting to the demands of a modern Chinese society. It calls this "responsive authoritarianism". The media has also had to evolve from a purely government-funded ideological tool to self-financed business enterprises...

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