Beijing Daily: Der Tagesspiegel criticized China’s “wolf-warrior diplomacy” in an article titled “China’s Wolf-warrior” on December 8, using an image of Chinese character “杈(pitchfork)”, apparently a misspelling of “权 (power)”. The report said that the German parliament’s human rights committee held a so-called hearing on China’s human rights on November 18, which was denounced by the Chinese embassy. It slammed China’s “strong reaction”, citing Green Party’s anti-China lawmaker Margarete Bause’s words that Chinese diplomats become more aggressive and China is pursuing “wolf-warrior diplomacy”. What’s your response?
Hua Chunying: I noted that German newspaper misspelled “权 (power)” as “杈(pitchfork)”, which was ridiculed by the Chinese media. But such goof doesn’t surprise me at all, because there are some people who like to harp at China and criticize China as if they were China experts, when in fact, they know nothing about China.
As for “wolf-warrior diplomacy”, I would like to ask those who accuse China of “wolf-warrior diplomacy”: have they ever watched Disney’s animated film the Lion King? What do they think of that lovely little lion, Simba, who has grown up with all the suspicion, blame, and hardships as company?
If you may recall those things that happened between China and some other countries in recent period of time, which time and which one was caused by China’s provocation in the first place? Which time and which one was China interfering in other countries’ internal affairs? Which time and in which case was China threatening or damaging the interests of other countries?
Whether it is labeling the virus, politicizing the epidemic, stigmatizing China, or abusing the concept of national security to arbitrarily suppress Chinese enterprises and undermine normal people-to-people and cultural exchanges, economic, trade and scientific cooperation; whether it is interfering in China’s internal affairs under the pretext of the so-called human rights, democracy, freedom, or defying basic norms of international relations, viciously attacking China’s political system and imposing wantonly unilateral sanctions, how can anyone think China has no right to speak the truth while they have every right to slander, attack, smear and hurt China? Do they think that China, as a sovereign state, doesn’t have the right to safeguard its own sovereignty, security, development interests and national dignity and honor, while every citizen has the right to exercise justifiable defense in accordance with the law? Do they think that China has no choice but the silence of the lambs while they are unscrupulously lashing out at the country with trumped-up charges?
When I was a kid, there was a very popular TV show in China, Huo Yuanjia, and its theme song had a line that said, “Cowardliness and forbearance only emboldens their arrogance”. In essence, the criticism of “wolf-warrior diplomacy” is just another version of the “China threat theory” and a discourse trap tailor-made for China. Those critics have been habitually lecturing on China in a condescending manner, and still can’t take any refutation. Their aim is to preempt China from fighting back. By putting this label on China, they are threatening and blackmailing China into giving up its right to tell the truth.
But these people should understand that China is not the same as it was 100 years ago.China is never a bully, and the Chinese people have principles and backbone. China’s diplomacy represents and defends the interests and dignity of the 1.4 billion Chinese people, or one fifth of the world’s population. On major issues of principle that bear on China’s sovereignty, security, development interests and international fairness and justice, China’s diplomacy must resolutely and forcefully fight back all malicious provocations, vigorously defend national interests and dignity, and safeguard international fairness and justice.
I would like to stress that China has always adhered to an independent foreign policy of peace. To be aggressor is not our tradition, neither is bending our knee. In the face of hegemony and bullying, Comrade Mao Zedong once said, “We will not attack unless we are attacked, if we are attacked, we will certainly counterattack.” China does not provoke trouble, but will never flinch when trouble comes their way. We will not yield to coercion and blackmailing. If some people call China’s diplomacy “wolf-warrior diplomacy” just because we fight back and speak the truth in the face of unscrupulous attacks, slanders and denigration, I don’t see any problem in living with that “wolf-warrior” title, as long as we are fighting for China’s sovereignty, security and development interests, national dignity and honor, and international fairness and justice?