Moscow looks around for an authoritarian, crony-capitalist regime to use as a model, and finds itself intrigued by...Communist China:
Like an envious underachiever, Vladimir V. Putin's party, United Russia, is increasingly examining how it can emulate the Chinese Communist Party, especially its skill in shepherding China through the financial crisis relatively unbowed.
United Russia's leaders even convened a special meeting this month with senior Chinese Communist Party officials to hear firsthand how they wield power.
In truth, the Russians express no desire to return to Communism as a far-reaching Marxist-Leninist ideology, whether the Soviet version or the much attenuated one in Beijing. What they admire, it seems, is the Chinese ability to use a one-party system to keep tight control over the country while still driving significant economic growth.
Whole thing here. The best line, from a Your labels mean nothing! NOTHING! perspective: "foreign companies generally consider Russia's investment climate less hospitable [than China's], in part because of less respect for property rights."