Chinese President Xi Jinping has taken a “crash through or crash mentality” instead of seeking to protect brand China in light of its recently adverse publicity, says foreign affairs expert Dr Keith Suter.
It comes as diplomatic tensions between the communist superpower and Australia continue to escalate, recently culminating in a Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson posting a doctored photo to Twitter which depicted an Australian soldier holding a bloody knife to the throat of an Afghani child.
Dr Suter said China had undergone a “revolution” over the past forty years which saw the country “return to an important place in the economy”.
“But the current leader is saying ‘we don’t need to be so polite in future, we can now just start to exert some of the economic muscle’,” he told Sky News host Chris Kenny.
“At a time when China – if it were really rational – would be seeking to protect brand China because of the adverse publicity of COVID etcetera.
“(Xi Jinping) wants to just plough ahead and ignore traditional partners.”