What is “Wolf Warrior” diplomacy?

The “wolf warriors” represent a completely different type of diplomat to the famously bland Chinese foreign representatives of the past few decades.

Instead of long, verbose statements, these Chinese officials are taking to Twitter and other social media platforms to hit back directly at any criticism of China or the ruling Communist Party, says CNN.

“Wolf Warrior” is actually the title of a hugely-successful series of patriotic action films in China, featuring Rambo-like protagonists who fight enemies at home and abroad to defend Chinese interests. The first film was released in 2015 and made more than $76 million at the box office.

It quickly spawned a sequel that became China’s highest grossing film at the time when it was released in 2017. “Wolf Warrior 2″‘ was based around a squad of People’s Liberation Army soldiers sent into an African country to rescue Chinese civilians. The film’s tagline was, “Even though a thousand miles away, anyone who affronts China will pay.”

An early comparison between the film series and China’s diplomats came in July 2019, when Zhao Lijian, then a counselor at the Chinese embassy in Pakistan, began to hit back hard against the US government on Twitter.

In a controversial series of tweets, Zhao claimed the US had no right to criticize China on human rights abuses when it had problems with racism, income inequality and gun violence. Zhao alleged there were places in Washington DC where “the white (people)” never go.

It provoked a furious reaction from former US President Barack Obama’s National Security Adviser Susan Rice, who called Zhao a “racist disgrace.” But one year later, Zhao’s career has only blossomed, and he is now one of the three high-profile spokespeople who hold the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s daily press conference.

Not only that, but Chinese diplomats across the world have begun to mirror Zhao’s aggressive tactics on Twitter, a platform long banned in China.

Image courtesy of (Photo: Amazon)

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