I have a number of friends who do business in China and know a bit about the economic and social environment there. Communism generally only exists in name only and I'm generally convinced it persists to keep the current leadership in power. But then, with a few exceptions, people there are generally satisfied with things. It's difficult to complain about consistent 8% economic growth. And the fact is that most Chinese agree with government policies. Where Americans value free speech at all costs, for example, Chinese value stability more highly.
I don't agree with all of the parent's ideas, but this bit, very much so. People tend to forget what recent history means in China: a large number of people *remember* the Great Leap Forward, and the Cultural Revolution. My friend's parents watched people starve in 1960, and had to deal with the Cultural Revolution in the late 60s. And they've watched their children go to university (which they couldn't do), get decent jobs (which weren't available, or reserved for those with connections), and have discretionary income (which didn't exist). Is this true for everyone? Of course not. But, as the parent said, are people "generally satisfied with things," and "agree with government policy?" Seems that way, because things are measurable better for most people here, compared to 50 years ago.