- BBC News World
Renew the image of the country and “expand your circle of friends.” These are two of the goals of the president of China for the coming months.
According to the state-run Xinhua News Agency, Xi Jinping told senior Communist Party officials a few days ago that it was important to present an image of a “trustworthy, lovable and respectable.”
These statements mark a possible change in the diplomatic approach of the Asian giant, which according to analysts has become increasingly antagonistic.
The appeal comes in the midst of deterioration of China’s relations with the major world powers.
The country has faced mounting criticism for the violation of the human rights of the Muslim minority Uyghurs and the crackdown on pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong, among other things.
For its part, China recently criticized U.S. efforts to further investigate whether the covid-19 virus came from a Chinese laboratory, while calling the Americans’ decision “political manipulation and shirking.”
Xi told senior officials that it was important that China will tell its story in a positive way.
“It is necessary to make friends, join together and win the sympathy of the majority of the community, to constantly expand the circle of friends [en lo que se refiere a] international public opinion, “Xin said in a statement collected by Xinhua.
The Chinese leader said the country should be “open and safe, but also modest and humble” in its communication with the rest of the world.
Xi also said that the party’s propaganda organizations should make it clear that Beijing wants “nothing but the happiness and well-being of the Chinese people “.
Chinese leaders hoped that the China Daily newspaper “would remain faithful to its duty to build a bridge between China and the world for greater communication,” he added.
Analysts estimate that Xi’s comments they admit the isolation of the country.
Xi became president of China in 2012, ushering in an era of increased aggressiveness and authoritarianism.
The country’s diplomats have become increasingly aggressive in recent years, displaying sarcasm and harsh words against those who challenge their positions.
The strategy has been dubbed as diplomacy “Wolf Warrior” (“Guwandering wolf “)Named for the blockbuster patriotic films in which elite Chinese special forces face off against mercenaries led by the United States.
Analysis by Stephen McDonell, BBC China correspondent.
Anyone who follows Chinese diplomats on Twitter will know how undiplomatic his tone has become in recent years.
They have been encouraged to pursue a “wolf warrior” strategy tied to confrontational and sometimes abusive messages, even directly attacking foreign governments.
If Xi Jinping really wants his administration to be seen as more “lovable”, this will require a sudden 180 degree change in focus.
From the Philippines to Australia to Europe, popular confidence in the Chinese government has collapsed.
And part of this is attributed to aggressive public statements.
Xi may now have been persuaded by those, including officials loyal to the Communist Party, who have been arguing that the sometimes unhinged approach of the “wolf warrior” has actually backfired.
The Xi’s key statement to the Politburo was possibly when he said that the Party leadership needs to “control the tone” of its communications with the outside world.
Does this mean that the tone has gotten out of control? Many would say yes.
The problem, of course, is that so much damage has been done that it will take more than a simple change in rhetoric to repair it. It would probably require a change in the stock.
It is also possible that Secretary General Xi’s speech is being misinterpreted.
Remember that you can receive notifications from BBC News Mundo. Download our app and activate them so you don’t miss our best content.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.