Book Talk—China’s Civilian Army: The Making of Wolf Warrior Diplomacy

Peter Martin, Defense Policy and Intelligence Reporter at Bloomberg, will be in conversation with Yun Jiang on Peter’s new book China's Civilian Army: The Making of Wolf Warrior Diplomacy.

China’s ‘wolf warrior’ diplomats have attracted attention around the world in recent years, smashing the formerly popular image of Chinese diplomats as bland, polite and conservative. Under Xi Jinping, China’s diplomatic style appears to have transformed into one that is assertive and sometimes combative. Many analysts attribute this change to the rising power of China, as well as to the influence of Xi’s ideology.

However, Peter’s book reminds us that this assertive and combative style is not so new. Analysing diplomacy from before the establishment of the People’s Republic of China to now, he argues that wolf warrior diplomacy is not due entirely to the rising power of China. To understand the wolf warriors, we must understand the institutional constraints binding the diplomats.

About the Speakers

Peter Martin is Bloomberg's defense policy and intelligence reporter in Washington, DC and author of China's Civilian Army: The Making of Wolf Warrior Diplomacy. He was previously based in Beijing where he wrote extensively on escalating tensions in the US-China relationship and reported from China's border with North Korea and its far-western region of Xinjiang. His writing has been published by outlets including Foreign Affairs, The Atlantic, Foreign Policy, The National Interest, and The Guardian. He holds degrees from the University of Oxford, Peking University and the London School of Economics.

Yun Jiang is a managing editor of the China Story blog at the Australian Centre on China in the World and produces China Neican. Prior to joining the ANU, she was a policy adviser in the Australian Government, having worked in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Treasury and the Department of Defence.

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