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China’s diplomats show teeth in defending virus response
BEIJING (AP) — From Asia to Africa, London to Berlin, Chinese envoys have set off diplomatic firestorms with a combative defense whenever their country is accused of not acting quickly enough to stem the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
They belong to a new generation of “Wolf Warrior” diplomats, named after patriotic blockbuster films starring a muscle-bound Chinese commando killing American bad guys in Africa and Southeast Asia with his bare hands.
The tougher approach has been building for several years under President Xi Jinping, who has effectively jettisoned former leader Deng Xiaoping’s approach of hiding China’s ambitions and biding its time. His government has urged its diplomats to pursue “major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics” — a call for China to reassert its historic status as a global power.
“The days when China can be put in a submissive position are long gone,” said an editorial in the Global Times, a state-run newspaper known for its outspoken views. The Chinese people, it said, “are no longer satisfied with a flaccid diplomatic tone.”