This study focuses on the theoretical links between two important ingredients of individuals’ fundamental political values (i.e. authoritarian ideology and national attachment) and their life satisfaction assessments in an authoritarian context. We employ data from a 2016 national public survey in China to empirically examine how these political values relate to Chinese citizens’ life satisfaction. Our regression analyses demonstrate that Chinese citizens with stronger authoritarian ideology and national attachment are likely to report a higher level of life satisfaction. Our study contributes to the existing literature by highlighting the importance of the connections between political values and citizen life satisfaction. It also advances our understanding of the origins of social and political stability in authoritarian regimes, where citizen life satisfaction usually represents a major source of state legitimacy.