The Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s Michael Shoebridge says President Xi Jinping has “brought nothing but struggle to China” and the reunification of Taiwan is a focus of the nationalism he is trying to push to unite the country.
Mr Shoebridge said Mr Xi was facing a range of domestic and political problems including blackouts across the country as the result of an energy crisis.
“He’s got the financial sector and Evergrande property development in a whole lot of trouble, and he’s put a whole bunch of the corporate world in China offside with his assertion of party power over wealthy corporate leaders,” Mr Shoebridge told Sky News Australia.
“So he’s got a lot of reasons to want to play a nationalist card.
“We got told not so long ago here in Australia that the business-to-business connections were the way back to a beautiful relationship with the Chinese government.
“Now it turns out those same businesspeople are fearful of their own relationship with the Chinese government, let alone helping Australia out through our corporate elites.
“The CCP has always struggled to control China, and building a bunch of wealthy people that are outside their control has now become too big a risk to the party, so Xi is re-centring control away from wealthy corporate people.
“They’re all fearful for their own families and their own life and security – they could end up in a Chinese jail.”
Mr Shoebridge said a similar situation was taking place in the CCP where Mr Xi was “purging” party members for “too much ambition” or “daring to have different views”.