The year 1949 witnessed the establishment of the both the People’s Republic of China on mainland China and after the Kuomintang’s (KMT) flight, the reconstitution of the Republic of China (ROC) on the island sanctuary of Taiwan. In both the PRC and the pre-transitional ROC (hereafter referred to as “Taiwan”), highly institutionalized autocracies were constructed that could be categorized as single-party regimes. As discussed in greater depth in this chapter, in addition to their shared regime type, the two authoritarian cases are members of a common Chinese nation and cultural tradition. Also, both underwent rapid economic “miracles” that produced dramatic transformations to society, unleashed new and contentious social forces and led to a rise in the frequency and intensity of popular protests. In both cases, this challenged established modes of authoritarian political control. However, despite these commonalities, the two cases diverged substantially along the critical variable of the degree of state centralization and ultimately, the durability of single-party autocratic rule in their respective societies. Whereas KMT-dominated Taiwan maintained a high degree of functional centralization and a highly centralized coercive apparatus into the 1980s, subnational authorities in the post-Maoist PRC grasped a growing share of state power, soon emerging as important wielders of functional and coercive power.