Widgetized Section

Go to Admin » Appearance » Widgets » and move Gabfire Widget: Social into that MastheadOverlay zone

The sudden reassignment of Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian sparked speculation

Posted by on 2023/01/10. Filed under Breaking News,China,Headline News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

There was no official announcement or explanation of Mr. Zhao’s reassignment. Chinese media outlet Thepaper.cn first reported on Monday that Zhao Lijian had been transferred to the ministry’s department of Border and Ocean Affairs as deputy director-general, according to the ministry’s website.

Mr. Zhao’s nationalistic rhetoric has helped him attract a huge crowd online in China, but he also has plenty of critics.

Zhao Lijian was appointed spokesman when the coronavirus first broke out in Wuhan, China. In the nearly three years since, in addition to defending China’s “dynamic zeroing” policy and criticising foreign countries for their poor preparedness, he has spread disinformation about the origin of the virus at press conferences and on social media. His comments often become a hot topic of discussion online in China.

Zhao Lijian’s sudden departure has sparked speculation about whether China will end its Wolf warrior diplomacy.

“I’m not sure this is a direct repudiation of wolf-fighting diplomacy, but I think it will undoubtedly be interpreted by people in the Chinese system as a sign that wolf-fighting diplomacy is no longer a path to career success,” James Palmer, deputy editor of Foreign Policy, told VOA.

According to the Foreign Ministry’s website, Mr Zhao’s duties in the department include “formulating foreign policy on land and maritime borders, guiding and coordinating maritime external work; To undertake the administration of land boundary demarcation, demarcation and joint inspection with neighboring countries; To handle foreign-related boundary affairs and foreign-related cases concerning territory, maps and place names; We will undertake diplomatic negotiations on maritime delimitation and joint development.”

Compared with his position as deputy director of the information department, Zhao Lijian’s new position is the same size. But many observers see this as more of a demotion than an ordinary transfer.
It’s a demotion, “Palmer said. “It’s a demotion to move someone from a very prominent and interesting position to a boring and relatively unimportant one.”

“His new job is a nominal position with no promotion prospects, let alone the prestige of being a spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry,” said Li Qi, a journalist and host of Wall Street TV, a Chinese-language media outlet in the US, on Twitter. I think he was stuck in this dead-end job for the rest of his career.”

Georg Fahrion, China correspondent of Der Spiegel, said bluntly: “Zhao Lijian, spokesman of the Chinese Foreign Ministry and No. 1 Wolf Warrior, seems to have had his fangs pulled out.”

comments powered by Disqus