We do not have free-market economies today as I describe in a plethora of answers provided as in here, for we lack the proper definition of freedom.
It will be easier for any country ruled by a dictatorship to change to a free-market economy because it does not require the consent of the ball-and-chain of democracy to effect change. That China can do it easier does not mean they have the intellectual capacity or strong leadership to dare deviate from the examples western societies have set before them. They still seem to be doing a lot of societal copying.
Do not count the U.S.A. out just yet, despite its oligarchic resistance to real freedom, for it is bound to change only after all other options have been explored (Winston Churchill).