If you are interested in China, this is very compelling summary of China's ingrained cultural history.
Why China is not going to be a Superpower
China is obviously important to the United States, so it is important to understand China.
An aspect of the thesis in the article is that cultural tradition outweighs all else. The names may change - emperor or general secretary - but the structure remains basically the same.
China remains China despite efforts to change it. Tough for China, but encouraging for America. Hopefully our underlying culture of rule-of-law, individualism, and liberty will persevere.