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Interesting discussion, just one point: china isnt an autocracy and nor is vietnam, they're political oligarchies / technocracies. When the heads of state and government make serious mistakes and make the political elites unpopular with the people, they get demoted. I think they are generally less repressive and more flexible than autocracies and there's less danger of the level of civic collapse that can happen when autocrats die or lose power.

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