On June 6, 2021, a bipartisan team of U.S. senators visited Taiwan, arriving aboard a C-17 U.S. military transport plane. Netizens from Mainland China were surprised that Beijing did not react strongly to the presence of a U.S. military airplane in Taiwan, since in the past Chinese diplomats and media persons had repeatedly stated that "the day U.S. troops appear in Taiwan will be the day we reunify Taiwan by force."
According to an article published by the Chinese media outlet Duowei, Beijing did not even mention the presence of the C-17 because in May 2021 Chinese President Xi Jinping said that China needed to make more friends in the international community and to try to project an image of China as "credible, likable and respectable." It stated: "Some scholars believe that China's wolf-warrior style of diplomacy has aroused strong dissatisfaction and backlash in the West in recent years, and that Beijing appears to be considering abandoning its 'Wolf Warrior' foreign policy at a time when the standoff between China and the West has deepened."
Below is the Duowei article:
'Beijing's Response… Did Not Mention The Presence Of A U.S. Military Aircraft Over Taiwan'
"Three U.S. senators landed in Taiwan aboard a U.S. military aircraft, with China's reaction closely watched. Chinese diplomats and media persons have repeatedly released statements such as 'The day U.S. troops appear in Taiwan will be the day we reunify Taiwan by force.' This time, however, Beijing's response merely repeated the old 'one-China principle' and did not mention the presence of a U.S. military aircraft over Taiwan, sparking outrage among mainland Chinese netizens.
"'This is a serious violation of the one-China principle and the three joint communiques between China and the United States, ' Wang Wenbin, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said when talking about the U.S.-Taiwan interaction at a regular press briefing on June 7. 'China is firmly opposed to it and has lodged solemn representations to the United States.'
"Wang Wenbin said, 'China urges the United States to implement its statement of adhering to the 'one-China policy,' immediately stop conducting any form of official contacts with Taiwan, prudently handle the Taiwan issue, and do not send any wrong signals to the Taiwan independence secessionist forces,' so as to avoid further serious damage to China-U.S. relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits.
"Wang's response, however, made no mention of the landing of a U.S. military C-17 strategic airlifter in Taiwan. This has sparked discontent among Chinese netizens. In an effort to challenge Beijing's response, some netizens posted online statements such as 'The day U.S. troops appear in Taiwan will be the day we reunify Taiwan by force,' by retired People's Liberation Army Lieutenant General Wang Hongguang, Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of China's Global Times, and Li Kexin, minister to the Chinese embassy in Washington.
'Some Dissidents See Beijing's Ostrich-Like Response As A Sign That The Communist Party Is Adjusting Its Diplomatic Style'
"One mainland Chinese netizen asked, 'The U.S. military plane landed openly at a Taiwan airport. What about the military reunification you promised? ' 'How many times have you warned the United States? Do they listen to you?' 'You said that the presence of U.S. troops in Taiwan would be the bottom line for China to use force. Didn't they already appear in Taiwan? I just want to see if your bottom line is to use force or not to use force.' 'You are all talk and no practice, editor-in-chief Hu,' some netizens taunted him on his Weibo account. 'Editor Hu, I just want to beg for an explanation from you. '
"'Netizens on the mainland are inevitably angry about this kind of game, but Lao Hu is very sure that from Tsai Ing-wen to the Taiwan army, they must feel very jumpy,' Hu said in a series of comments to comfort netizens. 'I would say that the mainland has the control over when and how to lose its temper, and the Taiwan authorities have no choice but to wait and accept it.' But netizens seemed less than impressed.
"On June 6, according to a report by Taiwan's udn.com, U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth and Dan Sullivan, members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Senator Christopher Coons, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, arrived at Songshan Airport in Taipei aboard a U.S. military C-17 airlifter.
"Joseph Wu, Taiwan's Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Brent Christensen, Director of the Taipei office of the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT), greeted the three senators at the airport.
"The United States will donate 750,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine to Taiwan, Duckworth said on the same day. However, Taiwanese media did not report when the vaccine would arrive in Taiwan.
"It is worth noting that the C-17 strategic airlifter carrying the U.S. delegation took off from Osan Air Base in South Korea. According to Taiwanese media, this is the first time that members of the U.S. Congress have flown to Taiwan aboard a U.S. Air Force C-17 strategic airlifter, and also the first time that a U.S. military strategic airlifter has visited Songshan Airport.
"Some dissidents see Beijing's ostrich-like response as a sign that the Communist Party is adjusting its diplomatic style. The reason is that, as recently as May 31, Chinese President Xi Jinping presided over a group study session of the Communist Party's Politburo and said that China needed to make more friends in the international community and try to project the images of China as 'credible, likable and respectable.' He also stressed the need for a 'modest and humble' tone in the CCP's foreign propaganda.
"Some scholars believe that China's wolf-warrior style of diplomacy has aroused strong dissatisfaction and backlash in the West in recent years, and that Beijing appears to be considering abandoning its 'Wolf Warrior' foreign policy at a time when the standoff between China and the West has deepened. The CCP's mid-level officials, these scholars said, had no idea on how to respond to the incident without authorization from the top level of the Communist Party, which has just spoken of a 'modest and humble' tone in its foreign propaganda."
 See MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 9408, Chinese Media Outlet Duowei: Xi Jinping Calls For Overhauling The CCP's Internal And International 'Propaganda', June 22, 2021.
 Dwnews.com, June 8, 2021. The article, titled "China's Downplay Of A U.S. Military Aircraft Landing In Taiwan Has Triggered A Backlash; Hu Xijin's Attempt To Come To The Rescue Of The CCP Was Mocked Online," was written by Li Ting. It is worth noting that when it was founded in New York in 1999 by Pin Ho, Duowei, which is a news opinion website, recruited several dissidents to write for it; it was considered a "dissident outlet." In 2009, due to poor management, Duowei was sold to CCP-backed businessman Yu Pun-hoi, and its headquarters were moved to Beijing. Since then, it has become one of the semi-official news outlets that the Chinese government uses to test public opinion in the Chinese-speaking diaspora. Duowei News cannot be accessed from within China.