China’s efforts on anti-corruption, centralization, and official calls for governing according to moral and national traditions are reshaping the country’s politics and economy. How do we understand these changes, and what do they imply for scholarship on nondemocratic politics? In terms of China, the changes taking place significantly alter politics in the Reform era but do not signal its end. To demonstrate this claim, this paper details both how these changes move away from prior Reform era actions and at the same time how they remain rooted in this period rather than indicating the beginning of a new era of Chinese politics. Reform Era governance has been aggressively technocratic, until the recent neopolitical turn. The decentralized economic governance of the early reform era emphasized a small number of statistical measures of performance, namely GDP growth and fiscal revenue. Combined with weak monitoring, this limited aperture generated solid growth outcomes but also produced significant negative externalities such as corruption, pollution, and local debt. As the costs of technocratic rule mounted, the center altered course, increasing monitoring of locals and promoting official morality among the officers of the party-state. Yet even though changes can be seen even in unexpected policy domains such as legal reform and urbanization, they retain continuity with the broad context of the Reform era emphasizing performance as justification for continued Party rule. What has changed is that performance is being decoupled from particular statistical outcome measures and instead replaced with a discourse of correct processes paired with an openness about repression. More broadly, these conclusions show that the new authoritarianism literature still has substantial space to explore how authoritarians rule.