China is a ‘kleptocracy’ and Australia needs ‘to hit back hard’

Former NSW treasurer Michael Costa says Australia ought to “hit back hard” at China from a public relations point of view and show we are not the type to be bullied by an authoritarian regime.

“We’ve – in this country – virtually been betrayed by the China lobby that’s seen all of our economic interests aligned to one place, and that is China,” Mr Costa told Sky News host Chris Smith.

“We got it almost for a decade and a half, we had to put all our eggs into the China basket and that was the future.

“Many of us, including myself, pointed out we’re dealing effectively with a dictatorship, a kleptocracy, that doesn’t care about its people. It’s able to do what it can because it is an authoritarian regime.

“I think we were actually too weak in our response. I do give credit to all the politicians for coming out.

“You don’t have to doctor twitter illustrations to point out what’s going on in China. If China wants to play this game, we ought to hit back hard from a public relations point of view.

“Across the globe, China is now in conflict with at least a dozen nations.

“It is a bully; if you don’t kowtow to China they come back after you.

“We’ve just got to stand up and say look, economic issues aside, we are not the type to be bullied by authoritarian regime.”

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