“Senior Chinese diplomats have called for more ‘Wolf Warriors’ to defend the country” amid coronavirus pandemic.
“War,” the German military strategist Carl von Clausewitz famously said, “is merely the continuation of politics by other means.”
For Communist China, diplomacy is the waging of war by other means.
Top Chinese diplomats are now calling for an army of “Wolf Warriors” to be unleashed aboard to push Beijing’s aggressive foreign policy. Some of these “warrior” diplomats can already be seen in action throughout the West, bullying and threatening journalists, politicians, and experts who dare to question Beijing’s handling of the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic.
The term ‘Wolf Warrior’ is a reference to a 2015 Chinese propaganda movie in which an elite team of China’s People Liberation Army fights an ex-US Navy SEAL.
“Senior Chinese diplomats have called for more ‘Wolf Warriors’ to defend the country abroad,” Hong Kong-based newspaper the South China Morning Post reported on Monday.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi backed this new “Wolf Warriors” approach at a press conference on Sunday. He “defended the country’s combative “wolf warrior” diplomacy, saying the country will stand firm in defending the national interest,” the Hong Kong daily added.
Talking to the state broadcaster CCTV, China’s Ambassador to Britain, Liu Xiaoming, said that “there are many ‘wolves’ out there in the world now. If there are ‘wolves,’ we must have ‘Wolf Warriors’ to fight.”
The ‘wolf’ here is an apparent reference to the United States, as the Chinese Communist Party’s mouthpiece, The Global Times recently explained. “In terms of ‘wolf warrior,’ the US has peaked in its diplomacy,” the Communist newspaper claimed in an editorial on May 25. “Trump administration has launched the trade war against China, which is indeed bullying. (…) This is typical international hooliganism.”
On Monday, the South China Morning Post reported the unveiling of this new belligerent approach:
Senior Chinese diplomats have called for more “Wolf Warriors” to defend the country abroad despite warnings that this combative approach was likely to alienate the rest of the world.
On Sunday Foreign Minister Wang Yi defended this combative approach – named after a series of nationalistic action movies – saying that China would fight back against “slanders” and “firmly defend national honour and dignity”. (…)
Wang and [China’s envoy to the UK] Liu did not explicitly state who they thought was “smearing” or “slandering” the country, but an editorial in Global Times, a state-owned tabloid, said the United States was more wolf-like than China. (…)
Chen Gang, assistant director of National University of Singapore’s East Asian Institute, said the “Wolf Warrior” style could become the norm as China was ready to adopt a head-on approach to pressure.
“China’s tensions with the United States and its allies could escalate in the short run due to the wolf-like diplomats, and some of China’s external behaviour will come under more scrutiny from these governments,” Chen said.
Displaying this aggressive “Wolf Warrior” tactic in action, China’s Foreign Minister Wang claimed that a ‘political virus’ is making rounds in the United States, an apparent jibe at President Donald Trump and his administration.
“Regrettably, not only is the coronavirus sweeping [the world], a political virus is also spreading in the US. This political virus seizes every opportunity to smear China,” Chinese Foreign Minister said on Sunday.
While the aggressive tone adopted by the senior Chinese diplomats might be new, there is nothing new about the tools they employ. Since coronavirus began spreading across the globe, Beijing has been peddling a classical disinformation campaign similar to the ones carried out by the Soviet Union and other communist regimes during the Cold War. China, using allies like Iran, has been peddling conspiracy theories that the U.S. Army planted the virus in the central Chinese city of Wuhan.
Last month, China’s Ambassador to Australia, Cheng Jingye, threatened a boycott of Australian goods if the country’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison did not take back his demand for an international probe into the coronavirus outbreak in central China.
Chinese diplomats forced the European Union to water down a report exposing Beijing’s global disinformation campaign surrounding the spread of coronavirus. China threatened to cut off Europe’s medical supplies if the findings were made public.
“The European Union toned down part of a report about Chinese state-backed disinformation because it feared Beijing would retaliate by withholding medical supplies,” the South China Morning Post reported on April 25, citing official sources.
Communist China’s “Wolf Warrior” tactic is not just about talking tough, but military actions have accompanied this aggressive stance. As senior U.S. State Department official, Ambassador Alice Wells, pointed out on Wednesday, “Chinese aggression is not always just rhetorical.” Over the weekend, Chinese troops crossed into Indian Indian territory and began military build-up along the Himalayan border. The Chinese air force has repeatedly violated neighboring Taiwan’s air space in recent months. China’s new “national security law” seeks to undermine the constitutional freedoms enjoyed by Hong Kong under the British administration until 1997.
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