Although Mao Zedong stated that people's democracy was the surest way to maintain the Chinese Communist Party's popular base, the idea of implementing elections at the village level was unheard of during the Mao era. The post-Mao era, however, has brought monumental changes in China's political, economic, and social structures. These changes have increased rural instability among China's peasants who consist of nearly 75% of China's total population. Indeed some of the most profound changes and instructive lessons in China's contemporary history have come from the countryside.
Sur '03, Andrew G., "Beneath the Red Curtain: Intentions and Motivations Behind an Authoritarian Regime's Move Toward Democracy" (2003). Honors Projects. Paper 9.