In 1989 a democratic movement of unprecedented dimensions engulfed nearly the entire existing socialist world. But the results in various countries were quite different. China was paralyzed by the government's brutal crackdown. In contrast, East European democratic movements achieved initial victory, and Communist leaderships collapsed one by one. The legitimacy of the monopolistic role of the Communist parties was repudiated. Democratic systems characterized by multiparties, free elections, and coalition governments began to spring up. Why, in China, did a similar project produce such a different result?