BEIJING (Dispatches) - China’s “wolf warrior diplomacy”, an aggressive and often abrasive stance adopted by its diplomats since 2020, is simply “justified defense” against attacks by a West determined to contain it, one of Beijing’s ambassadors said.
Lu Shaye, China’s envoy to France, made the remarks in an interview with French newspaper L’Opinion on Thursday.
Lu said China’s “wolf warrior diplomacy” is a “justified defense” against Western criticism and that the West has to get used to China’s new diplomatic style, which symbolizes warriors who fight for their country.
The Chinese ambassador said China has in the past kept a low profile but its strength and rising status over the years and increasing media attacks from the West has sparked its need to react.
“In the eyes of the Westerners, our diplomacy is on the offensive and aggressive, but the truth is, it is them who are on the offensive and aggressive,” Lu said, adding, “What we are doing is merely justified defense to protect our rights and interests.”
Lu underlined that China’s previous diplomatic style of “hide your strength and bide your time,” attributed to former leader Deng Xiaoping, was necessary at the time because the country had neither the need nor the strength to do otherwise.
Now that China has grown stronger, and with the West “bent on suppressing its growth,” China must shift its diplomatic style to that of “making a difference,” the Chinese envoy said.
“The West has launched a public opinion war against us. How can we not fight back? China’s image would be tarnished as they desire if we do not strike back,” he added.
Lu’s remarks come as Beijing pushes back against Western accusations from the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic to China’s policies in Xinjiang region and Hong Kong, and posturing on Chinese Taipei and the South China Sea.
China’s top legislature — the National People’s Congress (NPC) standing committee — passed a new law last week to counter foreign sanctions as part of the country’s plan to defuse rising pressure from the United States and the European Union.
The U.S. and China have been at odds over a range of issues, including China’s alleged mistreatment of Muslim Uyghur minority in the western region of Xinjiang, anti-Beijing demonstrations in the semi-autonomous city of Hong Kong, China’s territorial claims on Chinese Taipei and most of the South China Sea as well as the origin of the coronavirus.