The on-camera clash between the two leading Chinese diplomats and their two American colleagues in Alaska a week ago was the Joe Biden government’s first contact with “wolf warrior” diplomacy.
It has been described as such, from the Washington Post to Bloomberg and the Japanese Nikkei.
The expression is becoming commonplace, to portray the growing assertiveness of Chinese envoys to the world.
One example is Ambassador to Brazil Yang Wanming in his social media responses to MP Eduardo Bolsonaro, the president’s son.
In Alaska, the performance that marked the meeting was that of Yang Jiechi, member of the Politburo and former ambassador to Washington, responding, after a first intervention by Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, that the United States can no longer deal with. China. at all, from a position of strength – or superiority.
The nickname “wolf warrior” derives from a 2017 film, “Lobo Guerreiro 2”, directed and played by Wu Jing, the second production of a franchise that mimics that of Rambo, launched in 1982. The series represents for the president Chinese, Xi Jinping, what Sylvester Stallone’s films represented to former US President Ronald Reagan.
In Brazil, the film is available on the American platform Amazon Prime Video, in Mandarin and English, with Portuguese subtitles.
The term began to be used to refer to Chinese diplomacy two years ago, starting with an exchange of messages about racism in the United States – between Zhao Lijian, then at the embassy in Pakistan, and the former adviser. to national security and former ambassador to the UN. Susan Rice, via Twitter.
Zhao was then promoted to spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry and was at the forefront of the response to the “Chinese virus”.
In that first moment, in mid-2019, the commercial and patriotic impact of “Lobo Guerreiro 2” became evident, which became the biggest box office in history for non-English production.
The BBC’s Mandarin Service and the Global Times or Huanqiu itself, a nationalist tabloid edited by Hu Xijin, later adopted the term diplomacy.
Like John Rambo, the main character, Leng Feng, is a former soldier, now working, half lost, on the African coast. He begins the film by saving, in a spectacular action scene, with underwater martial arts blows, the crew of a giant freighter attacked by pirates.
Unlike Stallone, Wu isn’t ostensibly muscular, but his character is nonetheless deadly. On the other hand, for two hours, he supports and defends young blacks, many of whom are his friends, including a teenager whom he cares about almost like a father.
The villain is the one who hands over the most, physically, to Rambo. He’s an American mercenary, Big Daddy, played by actor Frank Grillo. He is best known as the antagonist of Captain America or actor Liam Neeson, but he just debuted his first protagonist in earnest, in the movie “Boss Level – The Last Level”, against an evil Mel Gibson.
Like Rambo, Leng has dramatic features, bearing the trauma of past battles, and is a “lone wolf”, almost rebellious to the hierarchy, unlike the cliché of a People’s Liberation Army hero. Romantic interest is not lacking for the protagonist, in a handsome doctor played by Chinese-American Celina Jade.
But “Lobo Guerreiro 2” is above all a seam of several long action scenes, from physical combat to drone attacks and a tank battle, between Wu and Grillo.
The confrontation between them continues until the end and continues in the few dialogues to show that whoever is on the side of the oppressed Africans and the UN is the ex-Chinese soldier – and who doesn’t care, c ‘is the American. .
“People like you will always be inferior to people like me, get used to it,” Big Daddy said in English, after stabbing Leng several times and about to kill him. But Leng reacts and stabs him 11 times, until he kills him. Then he said in his ear, in Mandarin, “You have become history”.
Allegorically, this is not far from what Antony Blinken and Yang Jiechi staged in the cold of Alaska.