China’s ‘Wolf Warrior’ diplomatic makeover backfires
Asia Pacific Focus

China’s ‘Wolf Warrior’ diplomatic makeover backfires

Under criticism in recent years over issues varying from human rights violations to rebuke over the coronavirus pandemic, Beijing had begun a new breed of diplomacy that grew popular as “wolf warriors” a term for aggressive nationalism inspired by a famous Chinese film.

The Foreign Ministry representatives and experts abroad used a sharp and resentful tone to uproariously safeguard the Communist-led nation and even utilized conspiracy theories or brazenly insult their foreign counterparts.

However, a sudden U-turn this month by President Xi Jinping urged top politicians to help develop a “dependable, respectable and admirable” global image in a bid to further develop China’s softer version. He stated to better tell China’s narratives, the officials and state media reported.

For few political analysts, the comments addressed a developing acknowledgment that the time of stirring up nationalism at home has left Beijing with little space to make more unpredictable diplomatic moves. 

Nonetheless, authorities and intellectual society calling for a subtler tone have confronted nationalist pushback, leaving them confused between their international and domestic public.

Beijing passed a law this month that will permit it to hit back at organizations that meet foreign sanctions and has also increased incursions into Taiwan’s air defense identification region.

China additionally made international headlines last week after Beijing passed a national security law that was utilized to squash Hong Kong’s tabloid. The newspaper’s senior chief editor was arrested along with the owner Jimmy Lai, The Strait Times reported. 

Dr. Jonathan Hassid, a professor of political science at Iowa State University stated to Agence France-Presse (AFP), “Sometimes, the ‘wolf warrior’ opinions or sentiment can get out of hand, however, if China tries to soften their global image, the nationalists at home will be angry. If it plays to the patriots, the international community responds adversely.”

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