Chinese 20th-century politics appears as a story of constant conflict. The clash between the Nationalists under Chiang Kaishek and the Communists under Mao Zedong lasted for decades. ‘Making China modern’ looks at the legacies of Mao and Chiang and the context surrounding them. The early 20th century could be seen in terms of their clash, or as a long modernizing project by two parties that agreed on as many issues as they disagreed. The parties had shared goals, such as reducing rural poverty, maintaining a one-party state, creating a powerful industrialized infrastructure, and establishing a strong centralized state. What can be said about the Chinese political system since 1989? How much has changed?