1: zhao lijian has been reassigned to a new post as deputy head of the department of boundary and ocean affairs. he is known for his controversial “wolf warrior” approach to diplomacy and has courted controversy with his tweets, including suggesting that the coronavirus was manufactured by the us military and brought to china. former us national security adviser susan rice called zhao lijian a “racist disgrace” in 2020.
2: zhao lijian’s reassignment coincides with china’s former ambassador to the us, qin gang, becoming china’s new foreign minister. he was given the nickname ‘wolf warrior’ in 2021 and the reassignment happened in 2021. multiple photos of tang tianru attending public events in beijing without a mask were posted at a time when the country was subject to the strictest covid curbs in the world.
3: the “wolf warrior” approach to diplomacy is defined by its confrontational, combative style and zhao lijian was one of the leading lights of this style. leader xi jinping’s style is seen as a fundamental tenet of the “wolf warrior” approach to diplomacy. internet users have speculated that the social media posts of zhao lijian’s wife, tang tianru, may have something to do with his demotion. bill bishop has said there is no evidence of a broader shift away from combative diplomacy.