NYT front-pager on how new model of outreach and service to HIV community is being appreciated as possible approach to host of underserved populations currently in the official shadows, to include the mentally ill, the extremely impoverished, and the environment. The key is letting NGOs rise as part of a general maturation of civil society. The simple but harsh reality for the Party is that, by spending so much time obsessing over political speech (Kristof's point in his op-ed of same day), it's losing ground on a host of government support/regulation areas where the public desperately needs help. The result? Rapacious behavior all around, but especially on the part of the elite - a growing problem that only hyperventilates the already profound populist anger.
The conundrum is solved, in both instances, by the Party actually extending more trust to the public it claims to represent, because, right now, the combination of over-exertion on political speech and under-exertion on everything else is a losing battle. As progressive agenda items pile up (what is more progressive than extending coverage to the underserved?), the Party ends up looking like it's only concerned with its own power - along with its own greed (all that corruption).
You put that all together, and I don't know how pundits see a triumphant Chinese model, because it's stalling at the same point that all industrializing powers do, and the answers are still the same - more and better democracy, or more opportunity extended to the people to take more responsibility for themselves and each other.
China's model is not "better" than ours by any stretch. Instead, it's an insult (growing) to the Chinese people, who prove themselves to be smart and responsible and capable the world over - whenever they're extended the chance to prove that.
The Chinese Communist Party lives in fear of its own people, and that's sad - and ultimately self-limiting for all.
That's why democracy is coming. People want more and achieving more requires it.