China yesterday signaled no letup in its combative approach to foreign policy in a third term for Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) as leader despite criticism from many Western diplomats that the so-called “wolf warrior” stance has been counterproductive.
As relations with the West have soured over issues from trade and human rights to the COVID-19 pandemic, Chinese diplomats have often been confrontational on the public stage, including on social media, a stridency that some critics see as intended for a domestic audience that nonetheless hurts its foreign ties.
“We Chinese will not capitulate. We will not sit and do nothing while our country’s interests are being harmed,” Chinese Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Ma Zhaoxu (馬朝旭) told reporters at a news conference to discuss Chinese diplomacy in the decade since Xi assumed power.
“Going forward, Chinese diplomats will continue to overcome all obstacles, and always be the devoted guardians of the interests of our country and our people,” said Ma, who is considered to be among the contenders to replace Wang Yi (王毅) as minister of foreign affairs in an upcoming leadership reshuffle.
Xi is poised to break with precedent and secure a third leadership term at next month’s once-in-five-years congress of the Chinese Communist Party.
Xi has urged Chinese diplomats to have more “fighting spirit,” an instruction that has seen many Chinese officials take to social media platforms including Twitter, which is blocked in China, with an aggression that has come to be known as “wolf warrior” diplomacy, after a patriotic movie franchise.
A global survey released this week by the Washington-based Pew Research Center found that public opinion toward China in the US and other advanced economies had turned “precipitously more negative” under Xi.
Oscar-winning actress Susan Sarandon and Scream star Melissa Barrera were each dropped by Hollywood companies after making comments on the Israel-Hamas war that some deemed anti-Semitic. Spyglass Media Group, the production company behind the upcoming Scream VII, acknowledged Barrera’s exit from the horror franchise. The Mexican-born actress, who starred in In the Heights and the two recent Scream installments, had posted statements on Instagram Stories calling the war “genocide and ethnic cleansing.” “Gaza is currently being treated like a concentration camp,” she wrote. Spyglass said in a statement that its position “is unequivocally clear: We have zero tolerance for antisemitism or the incitement
‘SYMBOLIC ATTACK’: Ukraine said it downed 74 of the Iranian-made drones, but five people were wounded in Kyiv, as people marked Holodomor Remembrance Day Ukraine on Saturday said it had downed 74 out of 75 drones Russia launched at it overnight, in what it said was the biggest such attack since the start of the invasion in February last year. The Ukrainian army said Russia had launched a “record number” of Iranian-made Shahed drones, the majority of which targeted Kyiv, causing power cuts as temperatures dipped below freezing. The drone attack came as Ukraine marked Holodomor Remembrance Day, commemorating the 1930s starvation of millions in Ukraine under Soviet leader Joseph Stalin. “The enemy launched a record number of attack drones at Ukraine. The main direction
Ecologists from the National Autonomous University of Mexico on Friday relaunched a fundraising campaign to bolster conservation efforts for axolotls, an iconic, endangered fish-like type of salamander. The campaign, called “Adoptaxolotl,” asks people for as little as 600 pesos (US$35) to virtually adopt one of the tiny “water monsters.” Virtual adoption comes with live updates on your axolotl’s health. For less, donors can buy one of the creatures a virtual dinner. In their main habitat the population density of Mexican axolotls has plummeted 99.5 percent in under two decades, scientists behind the fundraiser said. Last year’s Adoptaxolotl campaign raised just more than 450,000
CLAIMS: The North Korean leader reportedly inspected images taken by his new spy satellite of Pearl Harbor and a US nuclear-powered aircraft carrier in Busan State media yesterday said that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un reviewed images taken by his country’s new spy satellite of a US naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii and “major target” sites across South Korea. Pyongyang said it put a military spy satellite into orbit this week, but Seoul said it was too early to determine if the satellite was functioning as the North claims. Experts have said putting a working reconnaissance satellite into orbit would improve North Korea’s intelligence-gathering capabilities, particularly over South Korea, and provide crucial data in any military conflict. Pyongyang previously said, within hours of the