Wolf Warriors and Diplomacy in the New Era: An Empirical Analysis of China’s Diplomatic Language

Yaoyao Dai*, Luweirose Luqiu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The media and pundits increasingly associate China’s diplomacy with the term “wolf warrior” and warn about the country’s increased asser- tiveness and hostility in foreign affairs. However, there has as yet been little if any systematic research on how official the hostile and combative wolf warrior diplomacy is or how it relates to China’s diplomacy under Xi Jinping’s leadership. This article situates wolf warrior diplomacy in the broader context of Xi’s diplomacy and provides a large-scale empir- ical analysis of diplomats’ speeches. We show that Xi’s diplomacy contains two conflicting components: A liberal and egalitarian “shared future for mankind” and a realist “dare to fight.” Wolf warrior diplomacy reflects only the realist “fighting spirit.” Furthermore, our analysis of the transcripts of the press conferences held by China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs over the past 20 years reveals that the language of these events has become increasingly hostile during Xi’s presidency. However, this hostility has been associated only with specific issues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-283
Number of pages31
JournalChina Review
Volume22
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2022

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Cultural Studies

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