Share this on Twitter Share this on Facebook Share this on LinkedIn Share this on Sina Weibo Share this on Wechat Share this on LinkedIn South Korea's President Yoon Suk-yeol meets with Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G20 leaders' summit in Bali, Indonesia. November 15, 2022. Credit: UPI via Alamy In October, the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of China endorsed another five-year term for President Xi Jinping, effectively ending the practice of limiting the presidency to two terms. It was thus also an unmistakable break with the tradition of collective leadership established in the late 1970s, after the end of Mao Zedong’s one-man rule. China is the most notable recent case of simultaneous economic growth and increasing authoritarianism. But it is not the first. Not long ago, South Korea had its own version of “developmental dictatorship.” For much of the twentieth century, Korean leaders, like China’s today, prioritized economic catch-up through mercantilist growth over a democratic transition – until democrats refused to wait any longer. Simply put, the Korean story is one in which political authoritarianism was accompanied by miraculously fast economic growth, which in turn became the material basis for a democratic push led by the middle class. Could ChiSubscribe or login to read the rest. Subscribers get full access to: Exclusive longform investigative journalism, Q&As, news and analysis, and data on Chinese business elites and corporations. We publish China scoops you won't find anywhere else. A weekly curated reading list on China from David Barboza, Pulitzer Prize-winning former Shanghai correspondent for The New York Times. A daily roundup of China finance, business and economics headlines. We offer discounts for groups, institutions and students. Go to our Subscriptions page for details.