May 25, 2021 Special Dispatch No. 9354

Chinese Scholar Song: The Term 'Wolf Warrior Diplomacy' Is A Western 'Trap' To Contain China

May 25, 2021
China | Special Dispatch No. 9354

Chinese scholar Song Luzheng, a researcher at the China Research Institute of Fudan University who is now reportedly in France, wrote in the Chinese media outlet Guancha that the West is in continual decline in terms of economic strength and values. He stated that it had coined the term "Wolf Warrior Diplomacy" as a means of discrediting Chinese views.

According to Song, China's development represents "a threat" to "U.S. hegemony," and noted that "except for a few high-end areas, China has a large share in many industrial chains, and even in some areas, it can 'dominate the world.'" He added: "There are 1.4 billion people in China. Modernization on such a scale will lead to a reduction in consumption in the West without major breakthroughs in technological progress. This will affect the stability and legitimacy of the Western system. Of course, the West cannot accept it."

In order to stop China's rise, Song argued, the U.S. has attempted all sort of strategies: During the Obama era it engaged in "strategic shifts in the Asia-Pacific region"; during the Trump era, the "U.S. went ruthless" and "fought trade wars [and] technological wars, and put pressure on all sides." Now, he said, President Biden is using "the strategy and values of uniting allies again."

In conclusion, he stated that part of the U.S. strategy to counter China is also to deny Chinese people the right and the legitimacy to speak. This is why, he said, the West has labeled Beijing's diplomacy "Wolf Warrior diplomacy," and that "'Wolf Warrior diplomacy' is precisely a trap which seeks to take away our right to speak."

Below is Song's article:[1]

From the Chinese movie Wolf Warrior II

'[The West] Discredited China's Normal Actions To Defend Its Own Interests'

"Ever since the movie 'Wolf Warriors' became popular, the Western countries, which have superiority in this area and the right to speak, immediately and keenly labeled China as promoting 'Wolf Warrior diplomacy.' They discredited China's normal actions to defend its own interests. They initiated a campaign, a war of public opinion, against China. Chinese diplomats stationed in Western countries, such as France, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Switzerland, have all encountered provocations by media reporters.

"Recently, the Chinese Embassy in France used the French slang 'little hooligan' in response to a so-called scholar's attack on China. The western media once again used 'Wolf Warrior diplomacy' to criticize it. The Chinese Embassy in France responded: If China is conducting 'Wolf Warrior diplomacy,' it is because there are too many mad dogs.

"Objectively speaking, as China's national strength increases, it has become more and more capable of defending its national interests from infringement. Facing Western attacks, China's counterattack has become more and more direct and frank. But this is not the reason why the West has labeled China with 'Wolf Warrior diplomacy.' Because China's diplomacy has not changed the peaceful and civilized Chinese nature. In essence, the 'Wolf Warrior diplomacy' concocted by the West is only part of Western powers' strategy to contain China. China must not fall into the trap and lose its right to speak.

"First, when dealing with contradictions between countries, China always uses diplomatic, economic, and legal means instead of resorting to force.

"It is impossible for countries not to have conflicts of interest. For example, there are conflicts in many interests between China, Canada, and Australia. China's solution is peaceful and reciprocal. Canada used legal means to deal with the Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou incident. The United States attempted to extradite her from Canada. Everyone knew of Canada's erroneous and foolish involvement in the Sino-U.S. geopolitical game. China imposed countermeasures against Canada. Australia has ruled out Huawei's 5G technology without any evidence. China is considered by the West to use economic means to fight back. Despite all that, China's countermeasures have sufficient trade-level reasons and are implemented within the existing framework. After the Biden administration came to power, the European Union used the so-called Xinjiang issue to impose sanctions on China. Of course, China must use reciprocal means to respond.

"It must be pointed out that the conflicts between China and these countries or organizations were not provoked by China. They offended and smeared China first with no reason.

"On the other hand, in the United States and the West, Obama, who won the Nobel Peace Prize as soon as he came to power, repeatedly launched military operations to the outside world during his terms of office. The use of force was the main means used to resolve state-to-state conflicts. Less than two months after the new U.S. President Biden took office, he launched a missile attack in Syria. The reason for the military action was even more shocking. They said that U.S. facilities in Iraq were attacked for the purpose of warning Iran. If the U.S. really believes that the Iraqi attack was done by Iran, why not target Iran?

"Another example: Not too long ago, as president of the country, Biden attacked the Russian head of state Putin, accusing him of being a killer. Such a serious violation of diplomatic principles was regarded as normal by the Western world. No one accused the United States of engaging in 'Wolf Warrior diplomacy.' It was not criticized by public opinion. This is in sharp contrast to China's repeated stigmatization.

China 'Never Interferes In Other Countries' Internal Affairs'

"Second, China defends its own interests and never interferes in other countries' internal affairs.

"China has always been strongly opposed to the West's criticism of Tibet, Xinjiang, Hong Kong, and Taiwan issues. These are China's internal affairs. They involve sovereignty and integrity, our core interest. Similarly, China never interferes in the internal affairs of other countries. The ongoing political change in Burma (Myanmar) is an example. China calls on both sides to resolve the issues rationally. China will never put pressure on the other side to act according to China's own will.

"On the other hand, the United States and the West often use their own interests and value standards to measure or intervene in the internal affairs of other countries. Even large countries like China have to face such challenges, let alone other countries. Recently, Paraguay, which has no diplomatic relations with China, asked China for a Covid-19 vaccine in the epidemic crisis. The United States immediately stepped in to warn Paraguay. Even when a country asks China for help in a health crisis, the U.S. intervenes. It shows how arrogant and hegemonic the U.S. is. However, Western public opinion turned a blind eye.

"Facts like these are countless. They all prove that China does not have a 'Wolf Warrior diplomacy.' Frankly speaking, the West is very aware of the peaceful nature of the Chinese civilization. They know that China is not Germany or Japan during World War II, nor the West during the colonial era. They are still confounding right and wrong, calling a deer a horse. The probable reason is what is stated in the report of the U.S. think tank RAND: 'Russia is a rogue country. But it is not an opponent. China is not a rogue country. But it is an opponent.'

"There are many interpretations of the serious retrogression in Sino-U.S. relations in China. One of the mainstream views is that China and the United States have strategic misjudgments. The United States believes that China wants to challenge and subvert its global hegemony and replace it. While resolutely denying it, China believes that the United States is only using this as an excuse to contain its own development.

"In my opinion, there is no strategic misjudgment between China and the United States. Even if there is a strategic misjudgment, it is not the fundamental reason that affects Sino-U.S. relations. The root cause is China's strength.

"Let us make a hypothesis. Imagining North Korea and Iran are both opposed to the United States and declare that their strategy is to challenge the United States' global hegemony. The United States may just laugh them off, because even if these two countries have such ideas, they do not have the strength.

"Another very important point is that a country's strategy is subject to change. When the People's Republic of China was founded, it implemented a one-sided policy towards the Soviet Union. Later on, it joined the United States to fight the Soviet Union. After that, it joined Russia and Europe to deal with American competition. From the U.S. perspective, even if China does not have the strategic intention to challenge its global hegemony today, no one knows what the future will be. This is like the chain of suspicion between different civilizations described in the science fiction 'Three Bodies.'

"Taking a step back, China has no subjective intention to replace the United States, and the United States believes in China's statement. In the United States' view, intention is not important. Strength is the root cause.

'The Western Monopoly Is Gone Forever'

"Third, China's development objectively possesses a certain threat to U.S. hegemony. This threat is not only reflected in hard power, but also in soft power, including Western lifestyles.

"We all know that the hegemony of the U.S. and the West in the world relies on their military and values. However, the military and values are supported by three pillars. The first is the manufacturing capacity of industrial products. In the past, only the West could produce all kinds of industrial products and could easily obtain a monopoly of profits in any link of the industrial chain. However, with the deepening of globalization and the development of China, these advantages of the West have almost disappeared. Except for a few high-end areas, China has a large share in many industrial chains, and even in some areas, it can 'dominate the world.'

"During the Covid-19 pandemic, China provided medical supplies to the world with its strong production capacity. It provided vaccines to developing countries with its strong R&D and production capacity. The West is too busy to take care of itself. China's role today was played by the West in the past. During the pandemic, France had to think of ways to produce masks. But the high-quality and cheap Chinese masks still occupied the market. The expensive and inconvenient French masks remained in warehouses.

"The second is the monopoly of international capital. In the past, only the West was able to make foreign loans. Most underdeveloped countries had to accept the harsh conditions of the West to obtain the capital necessary for development. Now China's lending capacity exceeds that of the World Bank. The Chinese lending system is not only efficient, but also has no attached political conditions. Although the EU and the United States are dissatisfied with those countries that accept China's help, they have no alternative. After the Biden administration came to power, it realized this problem and proposed to Europe the establishment of an infrastructure alliance to compete with China's One Belt One Road initiative. In any case, the Western monopoly is gone forever.

"The third is the right to price raw materials. In the past, only the West could manufacture industrial products. It was the only buyer as well. It enjoyed pricing power for raw materials coming mainly from third world countries. It maintained the advantage of low imported raw material prices and highly sold industrial product prices for a long time. This practice enabled the West to have a higher quality of life. The rise of China caused the West to lose this pillar.

"Nowadays in the world, whatever China sells, its price comes down. Whatever China buys, its price goes up. In a way, China is dominating the global products pricing.

"The Western 'democracy' system is built upon the middle class as the main component. Once the middle class shrinks, the survival of the system becomes a serious problem. That is why black swan events have repeatedly erupted in the West. Political extremes have made it very difficult for the opposing parties to compromise. China may be a small part of the reason. Under the deliberate smear of the West, it has become the main responsible factor.

"There is another factor that prevents the West from accepting the rise of China — it's limited resources. During his presidency, Obama said publicly in an interview with the Australian media: If China had a Western standard of living, it would be a disaster for the world.

"Theoretically, one of the reasons why the West requires developing countries to learn from it and adopt its political system is that it can develop the economy and improve living standards. Doing so, developing countries can reach or even surpass the Western living standards. For the West and the four successful Asian tigers, because the population is extremely small, the natural resources can still bear it. However, there are 1.4 billion people in China. Modernization on such a scale will lead to a reduction in consumption in the West without major breakthroughs in technological progress. This will affect the stability and legitimacy of the Western system. Of course, the West cannot accept it.

'Now Biden Is Using The Strategy And Values Of Uniting Allies Again'

"In addition to the above-mentioned universal reasons, there are some special factors that make the West feel extremely uncomfortable with China's development.

"The first factor is the sudden Covid-19 pandemic. The performance of the East and the West during the pandemic has shown extreme disparity. The West has done its utmost to use its own discourse advantage to shift the focus of contradictions. It is indisputable that China has the least cost of life and economy. China completely defeats the West. Not only that, but China's medical supplies and vaccine assistance beats the West's as well. Such a fiasco is quite rare in Western history. At this point, soft power, and the right to speak are powerless. Western democracy is now linked to incompetence and irresponsibility in the eyes of the world. This is why during the first wave of the pandemic, the West can still use the way to discredit China to transfer the contradiction, but by the second wave, it had to give up. The West changed its focus to issues such as Xinjiang and Hong Kong instead.

"The second factor is the particularity of the United States. As a country of immigrants, the United States is still very young. There is no dominant nationality, no cultural tradition and unanimous identity at the national level. In the southern states, even non-English speaking is the mainstream. The United States maintains unity in ideology by relying mainly on values and the so-called American dream of getting rich. These two conditions are currently disappearing at an accelerated rate. Even if the country can maintain unity by force, the disintegration of ideology is still dangerous with endless troubles ahead.

"For the reasons above, the United States cannot accept China to surpass itself in any case. In his first press conference after taking office, Biden stated that during his tenure, the U.S. will not let China surpass the United States. I am afraid what he really meant is not just during his tenure, but ever.

"To achieve this goal, the Obama era engaged in strategic shifts in the Asia-Pacific region. It openly opposed the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the Belt and Road Initiative, and formed the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) which excludes China.

"In the Trump era, the U.S. went ruthless. The U.S. fought trade wars, technological wars, and put pressure on all sides.

"Now Biden is using the strategy and values of uniting allies again. The 'Wolf Warrior diplomacy' is precisely a trap which seeks to take away our right to speak.

'Chinese Diplomats Are Often On The Front Line' Because 'The Chinese Media And Scholars Are Relatively Weak'

"Finally, I would like to say one more thing. Normally, Western media and scholars' criticisms or attacks on China should be responded to by Chinese media and scholars. However, a prominent phenomenon in China is that diplomats are often on the front line and assume this responsibility.

"On the one hand, the Chinese media and scholars are relatively weak, silent and absent compared to the West. On the other hand, the West can use its monopoly position to block the voices of the Chinese media and scholars. Even if China makes a counterattack, it will often be filtered by the West. However, due to the special platform of diplomats, it is difficult for the West to completely block them. This is why Chinese diplomats are often on the front line. We certainly understand and support this approach.

"It needs to be pointed out that once the voice of the diplomatic system makes the West feel extremely lethal and difficult to resist, they will try their best to block it. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying once played a video from the United States at a press conference. It claimed that the U.S. wants to use Xinjiang to mess up China. This information was unanimously blocked by Europe and the United States. People in Europe and the United States could not see it. Even if they read the Chinese website, they could not understand it. This news was reported only by one German media outlet. Western methods are very overbearing. On the one hand, they try their best to silence China. On the other hand, they label China a 'Wolf Warrior diplomacy' against Chinese counterattacks through normal channels.

"Therefore, we must resolve the incompetency problems of our own media and academics as soon as possible. We should not allow Chinese diplomats to stay on the front line of confronting Western media and academics. After all, even if scholars and media say wrong or excessive things, the outside world will not make a fuss and will not raise the issues to the national level. Especially under the current situation of strategic competition between China and the United States. Europe's strategic significance to China is very important. At this time, the words and deeds of national diplomats are often easily amplified by the outside world."


[1], April 11, 2021.

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