Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Beijing seen muzzling its ‘wolf warrior’ diplomacy

Over the past decade, Beijing adopted a harsher tone in its diplomatic speeches as bilateral relations between the US and China worsened due to trade and Taiwan matters. Things got so tense that news media, borrowing a term from a pair of Chinese action movies, began to report that the Chinese were following a “wolf warrior” strategy. (https://asiatimes.com/2023/01/beijing-seen-muzzling-its-wolf-warrior-diplomacy/) For a while, many Chinese proudly wore the evocative term as a badge of honor. Now, though, personnel changes in the foreign ministry and a softened tone in diplomatic speeches can be seen as signs of a wish in Beijing to tone things down. To hear some Chinese commentators tell it, the move of hawkish diplomat Zhao Lijian from foreign ministry spokesman to a lower-profile position could signal what might be termed – if we stick to the wildlife theme – at least a bit of domestication of China’s “wolf-warrior” diplomatic strategy.

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