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China’s Wolf Warrior Diplomacy


As China’s position has undergone a change in world affairs over the years, Xi has advocated for a more intensive approach towards handling issues both domestically and internationally. The “wolf warrior” style of Chinese diplomacy particularly attracted attention.


GS II: International Relations

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Wolf warrior diplomacy
  2. Need for wolf warrior diplomacy
  3. What does this look like in practice?

Wolf warrior diplomacy

  • A term that gained popularity, especially after Xi became President, “wolf warrior diplomacy” is a tactic for the Chinese government to extend its ideology beyond China and counter the West and defend itself.
  • It is an unofficial term for the more aggressive and confrontational style of communication that Chinese diplomats have taken to in the last decade.
  • A 2015 Chinese action film, titled ‘Wolf Warrior’, and its sequel have served as the inspiration for the term.
    • The films, with their nationalist themes and dialogues, focus on Chinese fighters who frequently face off against Western mercenaries.

Need for wolf warrior diplomacy
  • The change in strategy has been attributed to many reasons, such as Xi’s more authoritarian tendencies as compared to earlier leaders, deteriorating US-China relations under former US President Donald Trump, the coronavirus pandemic-related accusations on China, etc.
  • According to Chinese officials, the move is simply about standing up to what they believe is Western interference. 
What does this look like in practice?
  • Some examples can be seen in the form of messaging on social media too, where Chinese officials are quick to counter any allegations by the West and proactively launch attacks.
  • For instance, in 2021 Chinese government spokesperson Lijian Zhao tweeted a digitally modified photo of an Australian soldier killing a child, claiming the Australian army was killing children in Afghanistan. This led the Australian Prime Minister to announce he would seek an official apology, but China did not budge.
  • But this is not limited to Western countries.

-Source: Indian Express

July 2024