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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 46 mins ago - World

Biden cleans up comments about Russia invading Ukraine

Photo: Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

President Biden sought to clarify his suggestion that a "minor incursion" by Russia into Ukraine may not draw the same response as a large invasion, telling reporters Thursday that "Russia will pay a heavy price" if any troops cross the border.

Why it matters: Some officials in Kyiv saw Biden's comments as inviting Russian aggression.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
59 mins ago - Health

Study finds bias against Black patients written into medical charts

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Black patients were more than two-and-a-half times as likely as white patients to have negative descriptors about them in their electronic health record, according to a study published Wednesday in Health Affairs.

Why it matters: The study is further evidence of bias in the U.S. health care system, which can ultimately result in worse care and disparately poor outcomes.