Exclusive: US ambassador's Wolf Warrior-style 'nonsense' about China causes strong dissatisfaction among business circle, source reveals
Published: Feb 27, 2023 10:02 PM
Nicholas Burns Photo:VCG

Nicholas Burns Photo:VCG

US Ambassador to China Nicholas Burns blatantly criticized China when he addressed the 22nd Annual Appreciation Dinner American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham China), causing dissatisfaction among AmCham China staff and industry representatives there. Some executives from the US-China Business Council said it will reconsider whether to invite Burns to the celebration of the council's 50th anniversary this year, the Global Times has learned from a source.

Some company executives called him as "American Wolf Warrior." 

On February 15, about 350 representatives from Chinese and US political and business sectors attended the AmCham China's annual appreciation dinner where Burns delivered a speech. He criticized China's trade, state-owned enterprises, industry subsidies, cybersecurity and regulation, anti-epidemic measures and human rights policies, and even mentioned the recent unmanned airship incident. His criticism of China caused dissatisfaction among the attendees. 

A source familiar with the matter told the Global Times on Thursday that a staff member from AmCham China said that while Burns was delivering the speech, "the atmosphere was extremely embarrassing." Burns brought up sensitive content many times during the dinner, despite it being the highest-level event held by the chamber every year. "Almost all the topics that the chamber wanted to avoid were mentioned by him," the source said. 

An American company executive later repeatedly asked AmCham China why Burns had been invited, as his remarks may affect future communication with relevant Chinese departments, the source said. 

The source said some American people on the site called Burns' speech "nonsense" and said the US ambassador talked about China-US relations in an inappropriate way. The US-China Business Council should reconsider whether to invite Burns to this year's celebration of the council's 50th anniversary.

Since taking office in April 2022, Burns has often criticized China's policies in public, including on social media platforms. 

Many of his remarks will damage China-US relations and are inconsistent with his role as an ambassador. Since the beginning of this year, Burns has used platforms such as his personal Twitter and the WeChat account of the US Embassy in China to make inappropriate remarks on issues related to human rights, Xinjiang, Xizang and Hong Kong.

Some Chinese experts said they do not know exactly what Burns was thinking when he uttered nonsense about China-US relations in front of Chinese and American guests on such an important occasion as AmCham China's annual appreciation dinner. However, from the reactions of the American guests at the meeting, Burns obviously failed to achieve his goal, and it can be said that he "shot himself in the foot,'' experts said. 

The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations clearly stipulates that one of the important responsibilities of a country's embassy is to promote friendly relations with the host country. Burns' words and deeds do not seem to promote the development of friendly relations between China and the US, Lü Xiang, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times.

"There is already enough trouble between China and the US. Burns should think more about how to be a link between the two countries, instead of being a circuit breaker," Lü said. 

Another expert who preferred not to be named said that Burns, like his name "burns" has now become an "ambassador who is fueling the fire," which will not only do nothing to help resolve the US-China conflict, but will instead continue to create new problems as an "American wolf warrior".

 "Burns should be cautious in his words and deeds, and not let China shout out 'Farewell, Nicholas Burns!' like an essay said 'Farewell, Leighton Stuart!' leaving a disgraceful remark in China-US relations," the expert said.