The South Korean government restricted the Chinese ambassador’s dress after remarks during a meeting with opposition leaders.
The envoy’s comments are just the latest in a series of non-diplomatic remarks by Beijing’s envoy that raised eyebrows in Canberra, Manila and Tokyo. Their brazen communication style has given Chinese diplomats the stigma of “wolf warriors.”
Chinese Ambassador Xing Haiming was summoned by South Korea’s Vice Foreign Minister Jang Ho-jin on Friday after Chinese diplomats had a dinner with leftist Democratic Party leader Lee Jae-myung on Thursday.
Zhang “sternly warned” of the ambassador’s “unreasonable and provocative” remarks, which could be construed as interference in China’s internal affairs, according to Yonhap news agency.
During his meeting with Lee, Shin suggested that South Korea and China should work together to counter Japan’s plans to dump cooling water from the devastated Fukushima nuclear plant into the Pacific.
Japan and the International Atomic Energy Agency maintain that treated water is safe before release, but the issue is of particular concern in neighboring South Korea.
Lee and his party have been outspoken about the Fukushima issue and lashed out at right-wing President Yoon Seok-yeol’s flagship foreign policy, which seeks to improve relations with Japan.
The policy has earned Yoon strong praise from the United States, which seeks to strengthen trilateral defense cooperation in Northeast Asia against China and North Korea.
Heung also warned South Korea against leaning too heavily toward the United States.
“China-South Korea relations face external challenges,” he told Lee. “As the United States puts more pressure on China, some expect the United States to win and China to lose. But this is the wrong decision.”
At the April summit in Washington between Yoon and Joe Biden, South Korea offered a say in the possible deployment and use of US nuclear weapons in exchange for a promise not to develop its own nuclear deterrent. given.
The pact was signed in a year when the two capitals celebrated the 70th anniversary of the alliance, which was sealed after the end of the Korean War in 1953 when the two countries fought Chinese forces.
Join “Wolf Warriors”
China’s diplomacy under President Xi Jinping has drawn attention for its severity, amid strained relations with the United States.
On what it called “changes” in China’s diplomatic behavior, a 2021 paper by the National Asian Research Service noted that “Chinese officials have become more open about expressing their controversial ideas and often interacting with other countries. It has had a negative impact on bilateral relations,” he said. “During the COVID-19 pandemic, this action became known as ‘Wolf Warrior Diplomacy.'”
The term “wolf warrior” was borrowed from a Rambo-esque, nationalistic Chinese action film series. Earlier this year, media reports ranging from Germany’s Deutsche Welle to America’s National Public Radio referred to personnel changes in China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as the Chinese government turned away from verbal aggressive diplomacy. I doubted that it was.
But today’s developments in Seoul are just the latest in a string of uproars that Chinese diplomats have stirred up in the region in recent months.
In April, Huang Xilian, the Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines, caused a stir. Huang discussed Manila’s plans to give US troops more bases in the country and made statements seen as a threat to Taiwan’s 150,000 Filipino workers.
Senator Lisa Hontiveros lashed out at him, saying he was “threatening us” and characterized his remarks as “shameful”. “If he can’t treat us with respect and dignity, he doesn’t deserve to be a diplomat.”
The Chinese ambassador to Canberra is also controversial. In January, Mr Xiaochen surprised Australians with Japan’s “invasion” of Australia and warned that “history may repeat itself”.
In May, he held a press conference to criticize the AUKUS defense partnership between Australia, Britain and the United States, saying “the craft itself is not a good idea. Nuclear submarines are an even worse idea.”
Not surprisingly, America’s most powerful ally in the region has also been targeted by none other than China’s leading diplomat.
“If some on the Japanese side chose a beggar-neighbour approach over friendly partnership and entered into a new Cold War to contain China, old wounds in bilateral relations have yet to heal. China’s Foreign Minister Qin Gang, a former ambassador to the United States, said at a news conference in Beijing on May 7.
“Old wounds” was a term used to refer to atrocities committed by Japan during the Pacific War.