Chinese regime is ‘seeking a new source of legitimacy’

Former Beijing correspondent Rowan Callick says the Chinese regime is seeking a new source of legitimacy because its economy is heading towards a flatline, and it has been “bitterly disappointed” by Australia.

It comes amid escalating tensions between the communist superpower and Australia, which most recently saw Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian post a doctored photo depicting an Australian soldier holding a bloody knife to the throat of an Afghani child.

“The regime generally is needing a new source of legitimacy, it doesn’t seek it from people’s votes of course – famously 71 years in power with no elections,” Mr Callick told Sky News host Chris Smith.

“So it sought legitimacy through allowing people to become prosperous, the party claims it made China prosperous, my view is more that it stood out of the way and allowed Chinese people to work hard and become prosperous.”

Mr Callick said now China has done that, “the economy now is heading to flatline”.

“They’re seeking a new source of legitimacy, and that is China’s international influence,” he said.

“Australia is a country they’ve set upon as a country that should be easily persuaded because we’re very economically vulnerable.

“They’ve been bitterly disappointed.”

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