They have achieved a great victory for the Chinese word warriors in Australia this week. It was a deliberate maneuver that Beijing believes is a clash of civilizations. So what do wolf warriors want?
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian on Monday released a graphic – but false – image of an Australian soldier holding a knife to the Afghan child’s throat. “He is shocked by the killing of Afghan civilians and prisoners of Australian soldiers,” he tweeted.
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The allegations of war crimes against the Australian SAS Regiment are genuine. If necessary, just like the moves made to investigate and punish Canberra. But the fake image and fabricated anger were a very distant bridge for Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
Bates Gill Macquarie, a professor of security studies at Asia-Pacific University, says the passionate exchanges that have taken place imply a “new normalcy” in relations between Australia and China.
And we need to expect more from that.
“It is a consolidation of the provocation, to further underline the economic and political signals we are already receiving from Beijing,” he told news.com.au. “This is not some troll. It was a calculated and well-designed plan at the heart of a sensitive political issue in Australia that would create a national and international bond.
“And it’s a warning to others: Australia may be resilient enough to deal with this, but there are certainly many other countries as well.”
ASK FOR SCALE
“I would say it’s qualitatively different from what we’ve seen in the past, and that’s whether we’re talking about punitive economic measures or other harm in the state media,” says Professor Gill about the nature of Zhao’s controversial tweet.
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And it’s not just ours.
“There may be other goals for international audiences. Some foreign viewers would like to see Australia in their eyes, and they would also like to come to the West, ”he says.
It is a matter of increasing Chinese confidence. It’s all about testing Australia’s borders. Personal and professional intentions can be at stake.
“It’s pretty clear that there are professional advantages to leaning forward, pushing the envelope and making controversial statements of this kind. I’ve looked at the evolution of Zhao Lijian’s career. And it’s pretty clear that he continues to promote even after much discussion with him and his Twitter account.”
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A senior foreign official opened his account in 2010. While he was a South Asian diplomat, he began to use it to spark controversy. Since his appointment as Foreign Ministry spokesman, Mr. Zhao has only strengthened his reputation as the most prolific and embarrassing “wolf warrior” propagandist.
Earlier this year the U.S. military was behind the false allegations that COVID-19 was deliberately deployed as a biological weapon. He was not forgiven. Don’t go back.
“This isn’t something Zhao woke up to this morning, as President Trump could have done, and he threw something away,” says Professor Gill. “I’m sure it was thought out, pre-thought out and at least controversial to understand. That’s why it’s useful.”
He said Australia could not expect any apology for the deliberate actions of the Chinese Communist Party. “A person in that position knows very well what the limits are, what the expectations are, and would make a calculated decision. That’s why I think this is qualitatively different. To make that acceptable or worth the risk, I think a lot of us are working here. about the larger system. “
WAR OF THE WORD WAR
Professor Gill says that Australian thinking needs to be adapted. Information warfare is not just about cyberattacks, disruption of information systems, or data theft.
It is a matter of weakening the trust and beliefs that make us who we are.
Democracy. Human rights. To be equal by law. Government transparency and accountability.
“In the West we equate war too closely with violence and kinetic activity, which is surely part of the war,” he says. “But, in the opinion of the Chinese Communist Party, a political struggle without a kinetic war is very important.”
This means that any tool — economic, diplomatic, or truth — can be armed.
And the use of all available short-range kinetic weapons reveals the West.
“China is not the first society in the world to understand that you are trapped in traditional ways of war, that you are operating in other areas below the threshold of kinetic war, in asymmetrical ways,” he says. “That kind of thinking is as old as history itself.”
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He said Beijing will be about 20-30 years away from the level of the military term it surely wants.
The economy is strong. The military is great. But how far can they really go by using force against others?
“Do they feel safe using them? I do not think so. Not yet. And, of course, there is the danger, ”he says.
Disconnecting from the established international diplomatic and economic order would be crippling. And confronting the military in the region also poses a real risk of failure.
“At the end of the day, China is still not offered the tools it can use to repel them. It seems that wolf diplomacy and other propaganda can be very effective.”
The diplomacy of wolf warriors can help achieve Beijing’s strategic goals and help “desirable political outcomes without taking any serious risks”. And, “he presents himself as strong.”
FINISH THE GAME
Professor Gill said Beijing’s diplomatic and propaganda demands have already intensified into military action.
Lives have been lost in border clashes with India. The Japanese Air Force and Navy are constantly fighting attacks on their territory. The fishing fleet has assertively expanded its area. Beijing has stepped up efforts to intimidate the US, Australia and Southeast Asian nations into the South China Sea.
“So yes, this more assertive behavior is definitely becoming a more military agenda on the part of China and I think we need to worry about the next two years – whether Xi thinks the action against Taiwan is even stronger or not,” The Conversation said. i. “That’s an area that I think is increasing the likelihood of a real serious military incident every day.”
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Meanwhile, Beijing will continue its aggressive economic stance and punitive economic action to appease President Xi’s intentions.
“Greater resilience in the face of this political war will have to do more than diversify into other economic partners or harden our cyber infrastructure,” says Professor Gill. “Our society needs to be more intelligent about China’s intentions under Xi Jinping’s command and have a more open discussion about the difficult trade-offs between interests and values.”
Then we will ensure that our values are applied in a uniform and efficient manner.
“I am concerned that our concerns with the RP government often turn‘ red fear ’into discrimination against Australians of Chinese descent,” he says. “Sowing such divisions in our society weakens our resilience and solidarity in what we are becoming a struggle of ideas and ideals.”
The list of 14 complaints filed against Australia last week provides a clear view of what the Chinese Communist Party expects.
“Keeping our heads down without criticizing the nature and actions of the Beijing regime and, in general, being more appropriate and pleasing to China’s continued rise and aspirations,” says Professor Gill. “That’s what they want in Australia. They want respect, and they want to get Australia out of the way. That’s not going to happen.”
Jamie Seidel is a freelance writer @JamieSeidel