I tend to think that government actually lacks the authority to tell the individual what to do. In fact, government's sole rightful duty extends only to the protection of life, liberty and property. This is/was a foundational concept embodied in the Declaration of Independence. Anything else is a usurpation. The courts exist to deal with torts and theft.
I cannot vouchsafe for how well things are going in China. I would bet, though, that the frailties and inefficiencies of even a quasi-command economy will prove to be problematic. Look at New Deal America when the communists were running the show.