DCB #122: Xi Jinping’s Wolf Warrior Diplomacy

To support us with a donation? Click here!Dialogue China BriefingTalking About China NowIssue 122 – December 15, 2022In This IssueThe articles shared here do not necessarily reflect the views of the briefing or Dialogue China. All articles sourced from WeChat public accounts unless otherwise noted.I. Dialogue China Viewpoints1. Will China Adjust its “Wolf Warrior Diplomacy”?II. Policy2. “Chinese Modernization” Should Not Be Misunderstood as “Westernization”3. The Two Most Outrageous Recent Rumors: Tencent Being Acquired by a State Owned Enterprise and the Revival of Supply and Marketing Cooperatives. Why Do So Many People Believe Them? III. Politics4. How to Accurately Understand China’s National Power?IV. Finance and Business5. Why Did China’s Richest Woman Choose to Retire?6. Vietnam, India, Mexico: Who is Really Challenging China’s Status as the World’s Factory?Dialogue China Viewpoints1. Will China Adjust its “Wolf Warrior Diplomacy”?Wang Dan – Radio Free Asia Commentary – November 17, 2022In recent weeks, Xi Jinping has led future China’s new foreign affairs team to attend important international meetings, especially the long-awaited face – to – face meeting between the leaders of China and the United States. At these events, Chinese diplomats have restrained the “wolf warrior face” they have been accustomed to showing over the past few years. They are not only speaking moderately but even smiling, in an obvious attempt to present a new face of Chinese diplomacy to the outside world. Even Xi Jinping himself, who was caught on camera having a heated exchange with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, still managed to squeeze a painstaking smile out of his face after the conversation. There is a lot of speculation that China will change its aggressive and unyielding stance in the international community of the past few years, and go back to “hiding and biding” [hiding abilities and biding time].” My answer is no.
First of all, I think it is very important that Xi Jinping attend the G20 leaders’ summit at a time when his political status is set at the recently concluded 20th Communist Party National Congress. Only a moderate attitude will give him the opportunity to interact more with Western leaders, and the latter is what Xi Jinping really needs. Instead of sending a signal to the international community, he should take the opportunity of international diplomacy to send a signal to China that he is fully capable of assuming the role of a leader in the international community and has the ability to conduct great power diplomacy; that he is not only the core of the CCP, but also the core of China and the core of the world. This will allow him to further exploit the nationalist mentality of the Chinese people to strengthen his authority and balance the general discontent within the Party and among the people caused by his dictatorship.
Secondly, China’s “wolf warrior” diplomacy in the past few years, especially the confrontation with the United States, has shown serious consequences. On the issue of Taiwan, which is of utmost concern to Xi Jinping, Biden has stated four times that “the United States will send troops to protect Taiwan”. These two encounters have shown China the real risk of confrontation with the United States. Under these circumstances, I believe that Xi Jinping had to make a choice to moderate the deteriorating trend, not to make a genuine foreign policy adjustment. Otherwise, it would be difficult to explain his blatant cancellation of a scheduled meeting with the British Prime Minister simply because of the UK’s pro-Taiwan comments. In other words, the recent show of moderation by China and Xi Jinping is tactical rather than strategic, a temporary retreat under intense diplomatic pressure.
Finally, in the framework of the next five to ten years, one of the core issues of Xi Jinping’s administration is how to solve the Taiwan issue. With peaceful reunification basically out of the question, the conflict between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait will only intensify. Leaving aside the international conflicts caused by the rise of a great power, in the case of Taiwan alone, it is impossible for China to maintain stable diplomatic relations with Western powers led by the United States as long as it does not give up the threat of force against Taiwan, against the backdrop of the international community’s increasing attention to and support for the Taiwan issue. With Xi Jinping’s position as a leader, his blind self-confidence will expand even more as no one dares to speak the truth. Therefore, it is impossible to return to the state of the 1980s and 1990s in terms of Sino-US relations and China’s international image. In essence, “wolf warrior” may have a brief period of retrenchment, but it remains a key feature of Xi Jinping’s diplomatic line. Although he may appear to be smiling today, the outside world should not be deceived by the false mask of the totalitarians.【Back to TopPolicy2. “Chinese Modernization” Should Not Be Misunderstood as “Westernization”Ke Rui – New Beijing Intelligence – October 24, 2022Why Read This?
The Report of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), for the first time, systematically elaborated on Chinese modernization and put forward for the first time nine essential requirements of Chinese modernization. One of the main features of Chinese modernization is that it is not the modernization of the minority, but the modernization of common prosperity. It is also the modernization of all countries, the common modernization of mankind. Modernization is a perpetual and dynamic process. Even if China becomes a modernized socialist country by 2050, it does not mean that modernization will end. Because by then, we may have a higher definition of modernization.(Read the full text

Back to topPolicy3. The Two Most Outrageous Recent Rumors: Tencent Being Acquired by a State Owned Enterprise and the Revival of Supply and Marketing Cooperatives*. Why Do So Many People Believe Them?Duan Zhiguang – Xiu Yuan Foundation – November 4, 2022Why Read This?
The two recent misinformation mentioned in the title once again demonstrate the “information panic” in the Internet era and the post-truth era, which may bring about serious effects no less than a real epidemic. The author points out that in today’s society, a large amount of information is flooded on various platforms and channels, mixed with true and false news from different sources, and with various target orientations of the subjects behind them. Since the beginning of the new crown epidemic, the “infodemic” (information pandemic) has been expanding and becoming more serious worldwide. How people and managers at different levels of society should deal with this “pandemic” is undoubtedly a classic question that deserves continuous consideration.
* the supply and marketing co-op system, which used to run general stores in rural areas as late as the 1980s, was never abolished, even though the market economic reforms initiated by late supreme leader Deng Xiaoping in 1979 eventually replaced it with commercial supply chains and distribution networks.
The government is expected to use it as a fallback logistics and supply system to ensure emergency preparedness and food security in the event of worsening relations and further economic decoupling with the rest of the world.
“The supply and marketing cooperative system has always existed, and never died out this whole time,” the executive said. “They aren’t very efficient, but nonetheless they are a national supply and logistics channel.”
“Its first job is to ensure daily supplies of certain goods, but it has another purpose, which is to ensure supplies in extreme circumstances,” the media executive said, adding that the system could be used if the country was at war, particularly engaged in a military invasion of the democratic island of Taiwan.
“They already have one set of extreme circumstances in mind, which is that they will attack Taiwan one day,” the media executive said. “Then, we will have to be self-reliant when our connections with the rest of the world are cut off.”(Read the full text

Back to topPolitics4. How to Accurately Understand China’s National Power?Jin Canrong – Chongyang Institute of Finance, People’s University of China – October 23, 2022Why Read This?
The author argues that as China develops into a stronger country, people’s mentality, interests and structure are different, and diplomacy must change at this time. On the basis of successful industrialization, our rise is a matter of course, and the West must accept this reality. This is the root of the conflict between China and the United States. The general direction of China’s diplomacy in the past decade is clear, more clearly serving the general goal of national rejuvenation, according to the new stage of development, new national strength and new external conditions have made many adjustments, but these adjustments are not rigid, not after adjusting once and then finished, but will continue to adjust.(Read the full text

Back to topFinance and Business5. Why Did China’s Richest Woman Choose to Retire?Xing Haiyang – Sanlian Life Weekly – November 4, 2022Why Read This?
There are fewer women among entrepreneurs in China, and even fewer entrepreneurs succeed in starting a business, and there will always be the richest women, but their assets are far behind those of men. Under such circumstances, the existence of Wu Yajun is commendable. The founder of Longhu Real Estate is Wu Yajun, and it is also the only remaining enterprises with good reputation and performance in China real estate industry. She recently announced her withdrawal from Longhu, which not only detonated the long-standing pessimism of investors, but also caused Longhu’s share price to drop by 40 percent instantly. In short, along with the ups and downs of other rich women, there is the general trend of China’s economy de-real estate and embracing industry.(Read the full text

Back to topFinance and Business6. Vietnam, India, Mexico: Who is Really Challenging China’s Status as the World’s Factory?Xu Qiyuan – Tsinghua Financial Review – October 24, 2022Why Read This?
Since 2018, the outward shift of industry chains has become a hot topic of discussion. In the three directions of Southeast Asia, South Asia and Latin America, Mexico in the U.S. near-shore outsourcing strategy, Vietnam and India in the friendly-shore outsourcing strategy will pose a real challenge to China’s position as the world’s factory? The author believes that China’s position at the center of the global supply chain will remain solid as long as it does a good job of technological innovation and industrial upgrading. From an international perspective, China should continue to adhere to its basic national policy of opening up to the outside world. From a regional perspective, China should further deepen its cooperation in the industrial chain of East Asia.(Read the full text

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