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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Scores of Chinese diplomats and embassies around the world have opened Twitter accounts over the past six months.

The state of play: Many of them are now using the social media platform to post accusations, boasts and name-calling directed at governments and individuals they feel have insulted China.

  • This aggressive strategy is known as "Wolf Warrior diplomacy," named after a patriotic Chinese action movie from 2017 in which a Chinese soldier saves the day in a series of adventures across Africa. (The film's popularity in China boosted it to become the highest-grossing non-English film ever.)

What they're saying: "What's behind China's perceived 'Wolf Warrior' style diplomacy is the changing strengths of China and the West," an April 16 article in the Chinese tabloid Global Times stated. "The days when China can be put in a submissive position are long gone. China's rising status in the world, requires it to safeguard its national interests in an unequivocal way."

  • But, but, but: The target of Chinese diplomatic ire often isn't Western countries, but developing nations like India and Venezuela.

Below are some examples.

  • Xu Hong, the Chinese ambassador to the Netherlands, called Trump's use of the phrase "Chinese virus" a "political virus to international solidarity and cooperation:"
  • Ji Rong, the spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy in India, tweeted that calls for China to provide financial compensation for the spread of the coronavirus abroad were "ridiculous & eye-catching nonsense."
  • The Chinese Embassy in Caracas criticized unnamed Venezuelan officials for referring to the coronavirus as the "Chinese" or "Wuhan" virus and ended the angry Twitter thread by telling the officials to "put on a face mask and shut up."

The bottom line: China wants other countries to know who's boss.

Go deeper: China takes a page from Russia's disinformation playbook

Go deeper

Jul 30, 2020 - Politics & Policy

FBI director Wray warns of China election interference

Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

FBI Director Christopher Wray and other intelligence community officials warned about China’s increased capability to interfere in U.S. elections in separate classified hearings with the Senate Intelligence Committee this week, two sources familiar with the hearings tell Axios.

What we're hearing: Wray and other officials cited concerns that China is developing the ability to interfere with local election systems and target members of Congress to influence China policy, the sources said.

Updated 4 hours ago - World

Skripal poisoning suspects linked to Czech blast, as country expels 18 Russians

Combined images released by British police in 2018 of Alexander Petrov (L) and Ruslan Boshirov, who are suspected of carrying out an attack in the in the southern English city of Salisbury using Novichok, a military-grade nerve agent, and also the2014 Czech depot explosion. Photo: Metropolitan Police via Getty Images

Czech police on Saturday connected two Russian men suspected of carrying out a poisoning attack in Salisbury, England, with a deadly ammunition depot explosion southeast of the capital, Prague, per Reuters.

Driving the news: Czech officials announced Saturday they're expelling 18 Russian diplomats they accuse of being involved in the blast in Vrbětice, AP notes. Czech police said later they're searching for two men carrying several passports — including two with the names Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov.

Indianapolis mass shooting suspect legally bought 2 guns, police say

Marion County Forensic Services vehicles are parked at the site of a mass shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis, Indiana, on Friday. Photo: Jeff Dean/AFP via Getty Images

The suspected gunman in this week's mass shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis legally purchased two "assault rifles" believed to have been used in the attack, police said late Saturday.

Of note: The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department's statement that Brandon Scott Hole, 19, bought the rifles last July and September comes a day after the FBI told news outlets that a "shotgun was seized" from the suspect in March 2020 after his mother raised concerns about his mental health.