China has been marking the 100th anniversary of the ruling Communist Party with large-scale military parades in Beijing, fireworks and a national address from President Xi Jinping. However Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s director Michael Shoebridge has stressed the beneath the pageantry, the CCP is hiding “underlying anxiety” over maintaining power amid concern the west may provoke an internal regime change.
Mr Shoebridge told Sky News Australia: “Inside China the party is really worried about colour revolutions.
“They think that western powers stoke revolutions against dictators but their underlying fear is of the Chinese people.
“So at the same time, we are seeing all this triumphalism the regime is increasing spending on internal security every year.
“They spend more on internal security than they do on the giant Chinese military.”
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Turning to President Xi Jinping’s grip on the communist party, he added: “His path to power is the way he is going to maintain power.
“That is rolling purges in the party of the senior leadership and if anyone looks like they could be a successor.
“That makes it a very dangerous time for China and for senior people in the party.
“And eventually there will have to be a transition from Xi and the whole lesson from Mao was not to let one single leader have this level of unconstrained power.”
It comes President Xi warned western powers against trying to “bully” China.
Xi told crowds gathered in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square: Only socialism can save China, and only socialism with Chinese characteristics can develop China,” he said.
“We will never allow anyone to bully, oppress or subjugate China.
“Anyone who dares try to do that will have their heads bashed bloody against the Great Wall of Steel forged by over 1.4 billion Chinese people.
He added: “No one should underestimate the resolve, the will and ability of the Chinese people to defend their national sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
Meanwhile, The Australian foreign editor Greg Sheridan told Sky News Australia: “The idea that the Chinese communists don’t believe in communism is mistaken.
“Many Chinese, probably most Chinese, would rather have a more free life… they also wanted a less corrupt life and ethnic Chinese love democracy and it suits the orderly nature of Chinese culture.
“But it is also the case that the Chinese government has delivered certain key elements of its bargain with the people, namely constantly rising living standards.”