China’s foreign ministry spokesperson has taken aim at the world’s top leaders with a popular internet meme.
Zhao Lijian took to social media on Monday to slap down the G7 heads for backing the US’s alternative to Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative at their meeting in Germany this week.
In what is being seen as a move to counter China’s own project, the $866 billion program will finance much needed infrastructure in developing countries.
It is in stark contrast to China’s multi-trillion dollar project which was launched in 2013 with the aim of creating a modern version of the ancient Silk Road trade route from Asia to Europe.
While Mr Zhao officially said China welcomes all initiatives to promote global infrastructure, he’s let off long-held frustrations with the West on social media.
Taking to Twitter, he posted the popular “this is fine” meme which features a cartoon dog sitting in a room filled with fire.
But in Mr Zhao’s version, the dog has been labeled “G7” and words have been laid over the fire reading inflation, COVID, gas prices and populism.
In the next frame, amid the escalating blaze of significant issues, the dog – or rather G7 leaders – can be seen announcing their next move.
“Let’s counter China,” he barks.
In his tweet, Mr Zhao writes, "I don't get it..." referencing his shock that G7 would focus so much of its attention on China when there are other more pressing issues.
As part of a more aggressive approach from Beijing towards international affairs, Mr Zhao has long since developed a reputation as an antagonist.
He caused outcry in Australia two years ago for a Tweet which featured a provocative image of an Australian soldier, in what Scott Morrison described as “truly repugnant".
Mr Zhao is just one of an expanding number of ‘wolf warrior’ diplomats, a term borrowed from two blockbuster movies where Chinese protagonists defend the interests of China around the world.
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