Power structures and modernization policies in 20th century China, Marie-Claire Bergère To modernize the empire ? The idea never stopped haunting China's leaders. It has however always encountered the same problems, from the New Politics inaugurated in 1901 to Deng Xiaoping's. The article provides a comparative study. The stakes of Chinese modernization go beyond the form of power, whether or not communist. It is not possible to modernize without trusting autonomous social forces, without reforming the State apparatus, without changing the political culture.