| 22 February 2024, Thursday |

Xi urges Chinese envoys to create ‘diplomatic iron army’

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday urged Chinese ambassadors to forge a “diplomatic iron army” loyal to the Communist Party, reviving the abrasive “Wolf Warrior” rhetoric propagated by some diplomats as a sign of China’s increasingly assertive foreign policy.

“Dare to be good at struggle and to become defenders of the national interest. It is necessary to… resolutely safeguard the interests of national sovereignty, security and development with a posture of readiness and a firm will to defy strong powers,” Xi told Chinese overseas envoys gathered in Beijing, state broadcaster CCTV reported.

His remarks harked back to a more brash, confrontational style of rhetoric adopted by Chinese diplomats since 2020, which had been less prominent this year as China sought to attract foreign investment for its weakened economy.

Ties with the United States thawed briefly after Xi met U.S. President Joe Biden in November, but China is also currently engaged in diplomatic disputes with the Philippines over a contested reef in the South China Sea, as well as Japan over its discharge of nuclear-contaminated wastewater from its wrecked Fukushima reactor.

  • Reuters