Source: Global Times Published: 2020/12/5
Chinese diplomats were once known for their low-key approach in China and the world. It was a time when there seemed to be less inordinate criticism from the West. But the world and Chinese diplomats have changed. In some Westerners' eyes, Chinese diplomats are now engaging in "Wolf Warrior" style diplomacy, named after a 2015 Chinese patriotic action film and its 2017 sequel. The change seemingly has made the West feel challenged.
Regarding criticism from the West over China's diplomacy and all kinds of labels they have attached for some time, Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng dismissed them as misunderstanding China's diplomacy, stressing that China has always been a country of etiquette, valuing harmony, and never taking the initiative to provoke others, nor running to the door of another's house to pick a quarrel.
"China has no choice but to stand up in defense of our national interests and dignity, as others have come to our door and meddle in our internal affairs and abuse us," Le said when addressing a think tank forum on Saturday. The forum was held by the Renmin University of China, the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies under Renmin University, and the National Science Library under the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Obviously, the "Wolf Warrior diplomacy" is actually another version of the "China threat" theory and another "discourse trap," whose purpose is to prevent China from fighting back and push China to give up fighting, Le said. "I suspect these people haven't woken up from their dreams of 100 years ago."
Some people accused China of "violating international rules" and "challenging the existing international order." However, the international community should have a clear view of who is withdrawing from the international organizations and breaking the agreements, and who is pursuing unilateralism and hegemony, he said.
"It was not China that obstructed the WTO's operation by violating multilateral trade rules and wielding the tariff stick. It was not China that undermined international cooperation on COVID-19, and withdrew from and cut off the funding to the WHO; nor is it China that is threatening to "topple the card table" by pulling out of the Paris Agreement on climate change," Le stressed.
As a responsible major country, China has always been a defender of the international order, a contributor to global governance and a provider of international public goods, he noted.
Le clarified that some people say China has made enemies all around the world. This is not true.
"We have always made friends and forged good relationships. It is precisely certain big countries which have pressured other countries to take sides with "my way or no way" choice. But even under such circumstance, China's 'circle of friends' is not getting smaller but bigger. Many developing countries and friendly people have resisted pressure and continued to cooperate with China and spoken out in support of China on international occasions," he continued.
Up to now, nearly 170 countries and international organizations have participated in the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative. The membership of the AIIB which is also proposed by China has increased to 103.
At this year's Third Committee of the UN General Assembly, more than 70 countries supported China either individually or in joint statements, effectively thwarting the attempts of some countries to take anti-China actions on issues related to Hong Kong and Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.
Chinese candidates were elected to the International Court of Justice and the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea by large votes. The UN resolution on dealing with COVID-19 pandemic, backed by China, was adopted by a vote of 169 to 2.
These figures and facts show that China stands on the right side of history, meets the people's will, goes with the tide and has friends all over the world, Le said.
Some people slander China as an "authoritarian" country, and use this label to smear China's anti-epidemic measures such as city lockdown, quarantining people and tracking down their contacts as "autocratic" and "restricting personal freedom." Even wearing masks is described to be "violating human rights."
In response to this, Le said in the face of the COVID-19 attack, a responsible government must adhere to the concept of life first and respect science, and take whatever measures it should take. It has nothing to do with democracy and freedom.
In this context, freedom that respects science is the real freedom, and rights to health and life are the most basic human rights. China's successful anti-epidemic practices are the best proof of this.
"We regained our freedom and human rights with a short period of lockdown. Chinese people are now free to visit their family and friends, go to school and travel wherever they want. This freedom is a bold mockery of those countries which advocated the so-called democratic freedom," Le stressed.
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