Does China’s Warrior Wolf Diplomacy Get End?

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After the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CCP) 20th National Congress elections on October 19-23, 2022, it was estimated that Beijing would follow a more proactive foreign policy and focus on warrior-wolf diplomacy, with Chinese President Xi Jinping reinforcing its position in domestic politics. However, with the steps he took, Jinping showed the whole world that he would go in the opposite direction. Increasing his dialogue with Western powers that seek polarization with him, Jinping hosted German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in his country shortly after the CCP Congress. Immediately after, he held bilateral meetings with the leaders of the United States (USA), France, South Korea, Australia, Italy, Japan and New Zealand during the G20 Summit in Bali.

In this process, Charles Michel, President of the European Union (EU) Council, visited Beijing as an official guest of Jinping. In addition, Jinping replaced Foreign Minister Wang Yi, one of the important figures of warrior-wolf diplomacy, and Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian. In addition to all this, Jinping has been avoiding hot images with Putin for the past few months and has been trying to send positive signals to the West. All these developments have been interpreted as China’s starting to follow a moderate line in foreign policy and giving up its warrior-wolf diplomacy.[1]

Such a policy change by China has undoubtedly complicated the US plans regarding the Pacific. Because Beijing’s growing international ambition to date has helped Washington establish security and trade blocs.[2] In other words, China’s increasingly active and assertive policy in recent years has contributed to the US’s bloc policy that feeds on crises.

China’s response to the power policies of the USA with the warrior-wolf diplomacy has dragged the world towards polarization. Beijing, who said to stay away from the Cold War mentality, could not see a step in this direction from the West and he himself tended to follow a moderate policy. Otherwise, Beijing thinks that it will draw the anger of the West with a more proactive-ambitious foreign policy and that what happened in the example of the Russia-Ukraine War will be repeated in the Taiwan Issue. In short, China has seen that warlike wolf diplomacy ultimately undermines its national interests.

China aims to avoid falling into the trap of the USA by following a moderate policy. Because the most obvious thing recently observed in the Indo-Pacific is Washington’s provocations to drag Beijing into the war. Especially during the visit of the Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan in August 2022, China came very close to making a mistake.

Staying calm in times of crisis is one of the most important skills of successful states. States that fail to act with restraint and common sense are ultimately characterized as failed or rogue states in the international community. It is not possible for these states to survive for very long. In this respect, Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan has been an important turning point for China’s foreign policy. If China tried to overcome this crisis with warlike wolf diplomacy, the whole world could be plunged into disaster.

After the CCP Congress in October 2022, the Western powers began to push on China even more, and the tension with Taiwan gradually escalated. At this point, Beijing realized that a policy change was needed. Because polarization with the West only deepens the crisis and opens the door to war. However, the Beijing administration wishes for the unification with Taiwan to be less costly and peaceful if possible. But the current trend has led to the receding of war prospects in Taiwan to a closer date. Taiwanese authorities warn allied states that this attack may occur in 2027.[3] Western powers, especially the USA and Japan, anticipate that such a war may break out in 3-4 years and make their preparations accordingly.[4]

All these war preparations of the West are influential in China’s policy change. If Beijing has to use hard power in Taiwan, it will not want to see a stronger and more prepared West that has established alliances and defense pacts against it. It will even try to catch Western actors off guard. For this reason, China strives to ensure that its policies are “unpredictable”. The West is certain that China’s unification with Taiwan due to its warlike wolf diplomacy will be realized through hard power. China wants to break this perception. Because Beijing is of the opinion that it can more easily reach its own national interests regarding Taiwan.

As a result, it would be unrealistic to say that China will completely abandon its warrior-wolf diplomacy. Because this moderate dialogue with the West will contribute to the realization of China’s national goals. Because this policy may be a trap that China has set for the West. If the West tries to be friendly with Beijing by believing China’s words, China will further its economic, political and security interests. This may be more dangerous than China’s warrior-wolf diplomacy. Because there are no visible intentions and goals. By following a moderate foreign policy, China gives the impression that it has moved away from its proactive policy in the past. This creates confusion in the West. Perhaps this policy is part of China’s warrior-wolf diplomacy. This uncertainty and confusion resemble a hazy air, so to speak. Known as the “warrior wolf”, China may also want to take advantage of this misty weather.

[1] “China Is Trying to Play Nice, and It’s a Problem for the US”, Bloomberg,, (Date of Accession: 26.01.2023).

[2] Ibid.

[3] “China ‘More Likely’ to İnvade Taiwan-And Attack Could Come in 2027, Island’s Foreign Minister Joseph Wu Warns”, SKY,, (Date of Accession: 26.01.2023).

[4] “War Game Suggests Chinese Invasion of Taiwan Would Fail at A Huge Cost to US, Chinese and Taiwanese Militaries”, CNN,, (Date of Accession: 26.01.2023).

Dr. Cenk TAMER
Dr. Cenk Tamer, 2014 yılında Sakarya Üniversitesi Uluslararası İlişkiler Bölümü’nden mezun olmuştur. Aynı yıl Gazi Üniversitesi Ortadoğu ve Afrika Çalışmaları Bilim Dalı’nda yüksek lisans eğitimine başlamıştır. 2016 yılında “1990 Sonrası İran’ın Irak Politikası” başlıklı teziyle master eğitimini tamamlayan Tamer, 2017 yılında ANKASAM’da Araştırma Asistanı olarak göreve başlamış ve aynı yıl Gazi Üniversitesi Uluslararası İlişkiler Doktora Programı’na kabul edilmiştir. Uzmanlık alanları İran, Mezhepler, Tasavvuf, Mehdilik, Kimlik Siyaseti ve Asya-Pasifik olan ve iyi derecede İngilizce bilen Tamer, Gazi Üniversitesindeki doktora eğitimini “Sosyal İnşacılık Teorisi ve Güvenlikleştirme Yaklaşımı Çerçevesinde İran İslam Cumhuriyeti’nde Kimlik İnşası Süreci ve Mehdilik” adlı tez çalışmasıyla 2022 yılında tamamlamıştır. Şu anda ise ANKASAM’da Asya-Pasifik Uzmanı olarak görev almaktadır.