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World China’s Wolf Warriors Slam Australia, Win Fans at Home

12:45  01 december  2020
12:45  01 december  2020 Source:   bloomberg.com

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In recent weeks, China ' s wolf warriors have spread a conspiracy theory accusing the US army of creating the coronavirus and mocked the US over the Wolf warrior diplomacy also aims to score political points and stoke patriotism among its own citizens — both those living at home and abroad.

China ’ s “ wolf warriors ” are just responding to pressures that envoys everywhere are feeling in the age of social media. For diplomats like Zhao, the real goal is to win the approbation of your superiors — and, importantly, a devoted following of hyper-nationalists at home .

(Bloomberg) --

a man holding a sign: Hua Chunying © Getty Images via Bloomberg Hua Chunying

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison demanded Beijing to apologize for a provocative tweet depicting one his nation’s troops holding a bloody knife to an Afghan child’s throat. Instead, the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s top spokeswoman shot back, asking whether Morrison lacks “a sense of right and wrong.”

The response was a hit in China, where spokeswoman Hua Chunying drew praise on social media for exuding the “style of a great power.” Her deputy, Zhao Lijian, was similarly cheered on for pinning the offending tweet to the top of his Twitter feed. China’s vast state media complex piled in, promoting stories about the ministry’s remarks while the official Xinhua News Agency dismissed Morrison’s demand as “utterly absurd” and the Global Times newspaper published an editorial describing Australia as “evil.”

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Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison demanded an apology for the official’ s use of a photo showing an Australian soldier apparently threatening an Just as appalling for Australia ’ s government, which said the image was doctored, was that it was tweeted by a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman to

Who IS Australia ' s Chinese troll? How ' wolf warrior ' diplomat has built a career out of inflammatory His bombastic way of conducting himself - dubbed ' wolf warrior ' diplomacy - won him a promotion to deputy In recent months, Zhao has slammed Australia for allegedly spreading misinformation and

The episode illustrates how China’s diplomatic rhetoric is increasingly driven by concerns at home, where President Xi Jinping’s promise of national rejuvenation and a torrent of overseas criticism led by the Trump administration are fanning nationalistic sentiments. China’s diplomats, who reportedly once received calcium tablets from citizens hoping they grow some backbone, are recasting themselves as one of the Communist Party’s most vocal defenders.

Diplomats like Zhao and Liu Xiaoming, the country’s ambassador to the U.K., have become celebrities on China’s internet and are widely known as “Wolf Warriors” in a nod to a “Rambo”-like action film series. The trend points to more messy disputes like the ones with Australia and Canada, and raises questions about China’s ability to build soft power to match its economic and military might.

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As US- China ties worsen, Washington is pushing its allies to form a united front against Beijing. A new cold war is not in China ’ s best interests. to spin out of control as it walks a tightrope to respond in kind so that it would not be seen as weak at home .

China announced arbitrary tariffs between 107% and 212% on Australian wines Friday, citing antidumping rules. Perhaps this didn’t elicit the response Beijing had hoped, because on Sunday a Foreign Ministry spokesman sparked another diplomatic row by posting a fake image depicting an

“I do think this strategy is more about pleasing the domestic audience,” said Fang Kecheng, a communications professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. “It is not working in terms of building China’s image globally. It is working in terms of inciting nationalistic sentiment domestically. It is not working persuading the more liberal-minded Chinese. It is working in terms of answering the call from the top leadership -- and the last thing is what they really care about.”

The shift is just one way that U.S. President-elect Joe Biden’s administration is facing a diplomatic landscape that has grown more combative after four years of Donald Trump’s Twitter-driven approach. Besides dismissing the complaints of world leaders like Morrison or Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, China’s Foreign Ministry has regularly denounced top U.S. officials such as Secretary of State Michael Pompeo as “evil” and “liars.”

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Australia . Understanding China ' s ' Wolf Warrior ' diplomacy. China successfully launches Long March 5 rocket. " 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

CHINA is threatening countries not to probe the origins of coronavirus as its " Wolf Warrior " diplomats around the world go on the warpath. A commentary on the embassy website last month attacked a Swedish reporter for an article on the impact of China ' s one-party political system on its virus response.

For more on China-Australia tensions:
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China’s diplomats enjoy a captive audience in a tightly censored media environment where Twitter and Facebook are banned. The Foreign Ministry has used its state-controlled platforms to counter overseas criticism by highlighting what they describe as Western hypocrisy on issues like trade, security and human rights, appealing to the party’s narrative that it ended a “century of humiliation” by colonial powers.

The ministry’s spokespeople regularly swing from calling out other countries’ human-rights records to rigorously defending China’s. Allegations of abuses against Muslims in Xinjiang -- including genocide claims -- are countered for example by highlighting the U.S.’s treatment of Native Americans.

Hua defended Zhao’s tweet of the Australian troop image Monday as a fair comment on a report finding that the country’s special forces soldiers in Afghanistan were involved in 39 unlawful killings of prisoners, farmers and other civilians. She denied any link between the tweet to their broader dispute, which has accelerated since Australia earlier this year sought an international inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic.

Chinese official sparks outrage with doctored image depicting Australian soldier cutting Afghan child’s throat

  Chinese official sparks outrage with doctored image depicting Australian soldier cutting Afghan child’s throat Australia’s leader demanded an apology from Beijing, as relations between the countries plumb new depths. Zhao Lijian, the most prominent of Beijing’s outspoken “wolf warrior” diplomats, was referring in the tweet to an Australian inquiry into alleged war crimes by its soldiers in Afghanistan. As China-Australia relations have plummeted this year, Zhao has sharply criticized Australia in both its economic dealings and its conduct in Afghanistan. Russia, too, has cited Afghanistan as an example of the West’s failings and hypocrisy on the global stage.

“The Australian side has been reacting so strongly to my colleague’s tweet,” Hua told a regular news briefing in Beijing. “Do they think that their merciless killing of Afghan civilians is justified but the condemnation of such ruthless brutality is not? Afghan lives matter.”

Australian allies including New Zealand and the U.K. joined Canberra in condemning the tweet. On Tuesday, Morrison signaled a desire to avoid escalation in remarks to lawmakers, the Australian Associated Press reported, saying he didn’t want “further amplification” of the matter.

“The logic of Xi Jinping’s China, where low-level officials are performing loyalty tests back to the center, means there’s very little chance to admit something has gone wrong,” said Natasha Kassam, a former Australian diplomat in China who’s now a research fellow at the Sydney-based Lowy Institute. “If those are the terms that the prime minister wishes to reengage, he’ll be waiting for a very long time.”

Like Trump, China’s diplomats often seek to make journalists covering them part of the story with sound bites that are then circulated on social media. A video of Zhao rebutting a Canadian diplomat’s claim that China’s population control efforts among Muslim minorities in the western region of Xinjiang fit the definition of genocide last month got more than 50 million views on the platform Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok.

The next day, Zhao closed the daily briefing by thanking the ministry’s fans. “We hope the website of Foreign Ministry and Weibo, WeChat and Douyin will continue to have your support,” he said.

(Corrects spelling of second reference to Xi Jinping’s name in 12th paragraph.)

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China's Deepening Quarrel With Australia May Provide an Opportunity for Joe Biden .
Demonstrating solidarity with Canberra could be the first step in regaining the trust of U.S. allies, say experts.Last month, Beijing slapped 200% tariffs on Australian wine—for which China is the largest export market—on top of new sanctions on Australian beef, coal, copper, sugar, seafood and timber. The moves follow a list of 14 grievances published by Beijing. They include Canberra’s ban on Chinese telecom giant Huawei, its introduction of measures to safeguard domestic politics from perceived Chinese interference, and Australia’s condemnation of Beijing’s treatment of Hong Kong and Xinjiang.

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