While there are American-style liberals in China, some intellectuals and others view freedom through a different, and they say Chinese, prism. Some reject U.S.-style democracy without exactly affirming CCP-led autocracy. Everyone wants to be heard, but they don't necessarily want everyone else, especially the rural masses, to be heard.
Xi Jinping and his associates at the top levels of the Chinese government have been on the move. They have been pushing a society-wide anti-corruption campaign, targeting in particular some high-ranking rivals, and in recent weeks have been unusually aggressive with their neighbors Japan, Vietnam, and the Philippines, unusually harsh in their anti-U.S. rhetoric, and unusually repressive of dissident voices inside China. They have moved to re-shape the internal workings of the government to concentrate more power in personal authority at the top and less in written rules or in government bureaucracies. They have floated the idea of a new Chinese "strongman," clearly intending to suggest that Xi Jinping might be one. Mao Zedong is the best model for all of this, but Xi Jinping is no Mao, and how things will actually end up is anyone's guess.