If China's diplomats are 'wolf warriors', what is Pompeo?

2020-12-16 00:28:30

LI MIN/CHINA DAILY People who call some Chinese diplomats "wolf warriors" either don't know or pretend to not know the reckless diplomatic style of politicians such as US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The term "wolf warrior" comes from Wolf Warrior 2, a 2017 action movie about a Chinese special force soldier finding himself in an African country protecting medical aid workers against extremists and dangerous arms dealers. Around 2018 some people in the West started using "wolf warriors" to describe Chinese diplomats when they responded much more forcefully than before to vicious lies, insults and open attacks against China, mostly by US politicians on almost a daily basis. The timing was important. It happened when the Donald Trump administration abandoned bilateral exchange and dialogue mechanisms and chose to wage not just trade wars and technology wars, but also launched an all-out McCarthyist smear campaign against China. It's not hard to find such lies, attacks and racist slurs if you follow Trump, Pompeo and some other senior US officials on Twitter, their speeches during the last election campaign, and remarks at news briefings and other events. Trump claimed that the "US rebuilt China". Both Trump and Pompeo also claimed, albeit without proof, that they have seen enormous evidence of the novel coronavirus being leaked from a lab in Wuhan, Hubei province. Under Pompeo's instruction, US diplomatic missions around the world have dramatically ramped up attacks against China. Instead of focusing on building friendship with their host countries, US diplomats in Europe have frequently attacked China in their tweets, speeches and newspaper articles. In fact, when Pompeo visited Europe, he had a single-point agenda: to attack China and drive a wedge between China and European countries. In a 57-page memo on April 17, the National Republican Senatorial Committee advised all Republican politicians to deflect the criticism against the Trump administration for its poor response to the pandemic by aggressively attacking China. The White House sent similar instructions to different US agencies. That's why Republican lawmakers such as Tom Cotton, Josh Hawley and Marsha Blackburn have intensified their attacks against China this year. Blackburn's tweet last week, that "China has a 5,000 year history of cheating and stealing. Some things will never change ...", is the most racist and blatant insult of all Chinese people, their ancestors and their culture by a prominent US politician. If such despicable words, deeds and conspiracies do not trigger the strongest response from Chinese diplomats, then they are not doing their job. Gone are the days when Chinese foreign ministry spokespersons would only refer to the US as a "certain country" and respond in extremely courteous diplomatic tone to undiplomatic and roguish attacks against China. Some seem to assume that Chinese diplomats will not, and should not, respond to the abhorrent attacks by pretending to not have heard them. Notably, the Chinese diplomats accused of being "wolf warriors" occupy much lower ranks compared with Pompeo and other top US officials. That's the reason I haven't mentioned State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus for her constant lies and attacks against China. Chinese diplomats have every right to respond to vicious attacks. The truth is that, despite the stronger response from some Chinese diplomats, China hasn't responded in kind to even 10 percent of the vicious and racist attacks it has been subjected to by US politicians. These are indeed extraordinary times. The world has witnessed nearly four years of hugely disruptive and destructive US administration. Hopefully, the incoming Joe Biden administration won't be as obsessed as the incumbent one with the dirty smear campaigns against China. As for those who call Chinese diplomats "wolf warriors", they should also coin a term for top US diplomat Pompeo. I'd rather leave it to the public to do so. With just one suggestion: crocodile warrior? chenweihua@chinadaily.com.cn The author is chief of China Daily EU Bureau based in Brussels.