Chinese professors dismiss 'wolf diplomacy' theatrics

Source:Global Times Published: 2020/5/24 22:03:40

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi (2nd L) attends a press conference on China's foreign policy and foreign relations via video link on the sidelines of the third session of the 13th National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, capital of China, May 24, 2020. Photo: Xinhua

Editor's Note:

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Sunday took questions from correspondents all over the world at a news conference on the sidelines of the third session of the 13th National People's Congress. In accordance with Wang's words, in the post-epidemic era, China will continue to engage in multilateral cooperation with countries across the world, promote globalization and build "a human community with shared destiny" in a bid to relieve the impact of the novel coronavirus on the global economy and realize common development. Meanwhile, Beijing will proactively maintain its national interests. In the post-epidemic age, how will China cope with hot-spot issues such as China-US bilateral ties and the Taiwan question? How should we view the so-called wolf warrior style of diplomacy? Two Chinese experts shared their insights with the Global Times on these points.

Sun Chenghao, assistant research professor at the institute of American studies, China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations

Wang fully answered recent heatedly discussed questions over China-US ties and clearly and definitely presented China's stance.

Wang vigorously denounced the "political virus" of Washington, effectively responded to the latter's groundless stigmatization of China. In view of the upcoming election, the political atmosphere in the US tends to be negative. To gain more support, US President Donald Trump's administration spares no effort passing the buck to China. Wang use the phrase "political virus" to urge the US not to politicize the pandemic and undermine bilateral ties, whose loss outweighs the gain.

In the face of the deadly spread of COVID-19, Wang called for cooperation with the US. Despite the US being badly hit by the disease, US politicians diverted their focus on curbing the spread of the virus to pursue their political interests. Actually, like some other global threats, such as terrorism and the financial crisis, dealing with COVID-19 offers the two countries an opportunity to cooperate, rather than confront the other. China intends to show the US that it is reluctant to see the two largest economies engage in vicious rivalry due to the pandemic.

According to Wang, in the post-epidemic era, China still wants to coordinate with the US, instead of being involved in unnecessary confrontation. Hugely suffering from the disease, both countries are still vulnerable, and cooperation with each other should be the best scenario. 

However, if the US continues to slander China in the post-epidemic era, China will ramp up its criticism in public. Even though Trump threatened to cut off relations with China and such an argument is approved of by certain Americans, China is not expecting to see a decoupling with the US, which would only incur losses to both sides.

Wang Yiwei, professor at the school of international relations, Renmin University of China

The US now is the biggest force that is undermining international cooperation while China and other powers such as European Union countries are the major forces that inject confidence in global cooperation and defend multilateralism. China was among the first countries to overcome the COVID-19 epidemic and resume production and work, which is crucial for maintaining globalization and the global supply chain. Only by keeping globalization going forward can multilateralism be sustained. This is what countries and regions around the world expect to see. Now China-US relations are increasingly put under a global spotlight as many countries are worrying that the two biggest countries will slip into a long-term confrontation because of the US crackdown on China. 

State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi dismissed the "wolf warrior" diplomacy label put by some Western forces and media outlets against China during the press conference. He said China follows a foreign policy of peace but will never hesitate to fight back against insults or slander. 

China's tough diplomacy against provocations is a reasonable response to defend national interests. How can such a diplomacy be regarded as "wolf warrior" diplomacy? If China's diplomacy is "wolf warrior" diplomacy, then what should US diplomacy be called? Perhaps "lion roar" diplomacy. 

The "wolf warrior" diplomacy label is only an interpretation through biased lenses. Chinese diplomats defend its national interests in a more strident and combative manner because China's national interests have been continuously challenged and suppressed by the US. It's not China deliberately provoking the US.  

Wang stressed that "China has no intention to change the US, nor to replace the US." But in the US, in a newly released report "United States Strategic Approach to The People's Republic of China," which lays out the Trump administration's approach, it's believed that China has brought challenges to US values and system. It seems the US has lost its basic confidence. It is blaming China for everything. But playing the blame game cannot solve its problems. 

Some Westerners and media outlets accuse Chinese diplomacy of becoming "wolf warrior" style as if China were the provocateur. But the truth is, whether it's the trade war or the lawsuit farce demanding China compensate other countries and regions for losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic, China is the side that has been forced to respond. 

Because of the November election, the Trump administration is heightening its China-bashing rhetoric to divert domestic attention and serve the election. China must firmly strike back at slanders and insults and defend its national interests. In this sense, rather than becoming wolf warrior styled, Chinese diplomacy has become more principled and clearer in telling other countries where are China's core interests that shouldn't be touched. China will never be as arrogant as the US to bully others. 

The current China-US relations are worrisome and the Trump administration is to blame. Now the Trump administration is increasing its efforts to make an issue of the Taiwan question and Hong Kong affair to create troubles for China. This year is a crisis year for China-US relations. The risk of a military conflict between the two countries is increasing and the Taiwan Straits are the most likely powder keg. The US is making use of the secessionist Tsai Ing-wen authorities to constantly challenge China's bottom line and we have to firmly protect our core interests. China won't give an inch to provocations, smears and threats against its core interests.

Posted in: VIEWPOINT

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