Marginal Revolution is one of my favorite blogs. In this post, "The endgame of Communist rule in China?" they take exception to China expert David Shambaugh's recent analysis. Shambaugh believes that communism is failing in China and that the system will change probably in a bloody coup. The author's at Marginal Revolution disagree, but their analysis is not much better than the flawed thinking of Shambaugh.
Having lived through the ouster of the longstanding dictator in Indonesia-Suharto- I have my own analysis. When I worked at OLPC I became a student of dictatorships, a large potential market for the project considering all the countries still controlled by dictators. I discovered a wonderful, unpublicized book called "The Dictator's Handbook", which breaks down how to be a successful, long standing dictator. First rule of being a dictator, "share the wealth". Spread the wealth far enough to include the necessary parties to maintain your control. Such parties would be the army (with the guns), big business people (they bring projects that require government approvals :) ), select government officials, your family/tribe and a few other miscellaneous souls.
If we analyze China based on the Dictator's Handbook rule, we see the money spread quite widely with many government, military and family members prospering..for several years. Periodic re-shuffling of the government is just a disagreement about who gets the largest share of the wealth, but most beneficiaries are happily not affected.
The only way that the communists would be pushed out in China is if the military saw their financial well-being at risk or not growing fast enough and changed the government. (It's always about guns and money). In 1998 Suharto was deposed because shooting students was so reprehensible that the populous (including many in the military) was incensed. This anger was going to upset the country more (after an 80% market devaluation of the currency) if not pacified. Suharto stepped down when the military told him to.
Unless the military sees it in their self-interest, I see no way the communist government could be replaced in China.
Note: My obituary post on Suharto is here. Some good advice.