Contemporary China is a country of various regional “vassals”—quasi-autonomous lords who compete against each other and sometimes challenge Beijing, yet who remain tied together by the Chinese Communist Party. Their reemergence during the past few decades illustrates the problems that China’s growing provincial disparities have created for the central government.

Weiqing Song is an assistant professor in political science in the Department of Government and Public Administration at the University of Macau.
AsiaDefense and Foreign PolicyInternational Economics and Development