China’s aggressive form of diplomacy is helping to create a new genre of patriotic political art—and one of the foremost proponents of Beijing’s “wolf warrior” brand of international relations is already making use of it.To get more chinese culture news, you can visit shine news official website.
Zhao Lijian, a spokesperson at China’s foreign ministry, stirred a diplomatic storm today (Nov. 30), after he tweeted a digital illustration depicting a grinning Australian soldier holding a bloodstained knife to a child’s throat. “Don’t be afraid, we are coming to bring you peace!” the cartoon’s caption said. Alongside the cartoon, Zhao tweeted: “Shocked by murder of Afghan civilians prisoners by Australian soldiers. We strongly condemn such acts, call for holding them accountable.”
The image has deeply angered Australia, with prime minister Scott Morrison calling Zhao’s tweet “truly repugnant, deeply offensive, utterly outrageous” and calling on Beijing to formally apologize.
The tweet references the results of an inquiry completed by the Australian Defense Force this month, which found that some of its special forces took part in unlawful killings of 39 civilians and prisoners in Afghanistan between 2009 to 2013. The department has sent notices of likely dismissal to some of the soldiers, while others could face prosecution.
Zhao’s tweeting of the disturbing cartoon is in line with his usual “wolf warrior” style—a term taken from a patriotic Chinese movie of the same name to describe Chinese diplomats’ increasingly confrontational approach. Earlier, he tweeted a conspiracy theory that sought to link the origin of the coronavirus, which was first detected at hospitals in the Chinese city of Wuhan, to the US military.
The post has pushed Sino-Australian relations, deeply strained after Canberra led calls for an international investigation to confirm the origins of the pandemic, to a new low. Australia has also accused China of interfering in Australian politics. For China’s part, it has harassed or detained Australian nationals working as journalists in the country, and imposed tariffs or unofficial bans on Australian products. In a document leaked this month, the Chinese embassy in Australia listed 14 grievances with its host.
Despite the controversy set off by the cartoon, its creator appears to be enjoying his newfound international fame. “I heard that Morrison is very upset about my work?” Wuheqilin, a Chinese computer graphic artist who claims to be behind the drawing shared by Zhao, said on China’s Twitter-like Weibo. He shared a screenshot of Zhao’s tweet in another post, and said “great job minister Zhao!”
With over 600,000 followers on Weibo, Wuheqilin is seen by many as the face of China’s patriotic, “wolf warrior” style artists. The artist started to gain traction after he posted his drawing A Pretender God that showed Hong Kong protesters—themselves known for creating a slew of political art—worshiping the Statue of Liberty, which is holding a gasoline bomb and keyboard, and appears before an Alien-esque like backdrop of tentacles devouring people. Wuheqilin said he hoped to “disclose the truth about how some Western forces deluded young people in Hong Kong,” with his painting, according to state-owned tabloid Global Times.