Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on Oct. 24. (Fayez Nureldine/AFP/Getty Images)

Regarding the Nov. 6 front-page article “Sweeping Saudi purge hits rivals of prince”:

The Saudis years ago made a conscious decision to reject the U.S. model of democracy and elections. They seem to have been following the Chinese model. The Saudi tribal monarchy saw how China managed to modernize its economy and granted greater social freedoms yet maintained the single-party totalitarian political system. Is there really much difference between the Saudi king and the now-Mao-like Chinese leader Xi Jinping?

Whether the young Saudi crown prince can transform the society while maintaining absolute authority is the challenge.

Charles Kestenbaum, Vienna