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China’s Warrior Diplomacy Reappeared: Chinese Ambassador in France Attacked French Think Tank Researcher

On Friday March 19, in a prominent position in a French newspaper, on the Le Monde website page, there was an article about a Chinese ambassador’s verbal attack against a French think tank researcher. The article said that China’s “wolf warrior diplomacy” reappeared. It cited that the Chinese Embassy in Paris posted on its twitter account calling Antoine Bondaz, a member of a French independent think tank Foundation for Strategic Research, “petite frappe.”

According to the article, in mid-February, after Chinese ambassador Lu Shaye learned that a group of French senators planned to visit Taiwan, Lu sent a warning letter to the chairman of the senator team. In return, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs replied that French parliamentarians are free to go where they want to go.

Bondaz wrote on his twitter account saying that Chinese ambassador’s behavior is not acceptable and that Beijing has no right to tell French elected officials what to do, let alone that a diplomat made the demand. Bondaz learned about Lu Shaye’s response through his friend because it has been over a year since Ambassador Lu blocked Bondaz on twitter. Bondaz then replied on his twitter account saying, “Insulting researchers instead of arguing with them is a sign of weakness.”

Le Monde’s article pointed out that after France started to talk about the mass detention of Uyghurs in Xinjiang, its relationship with Beijing became tense.

Bondaz received wide support for his remarks on twitter. European Parliament member Raphaël Glucksmann replied, “If our leaders have a little dignity and a sense of a nation, we should explain (to China): “if you keep pissing us off, you will go straight back to China.” François-Xavier Bellamy, another European Parliament member told Bondaz “Don’t let this go. Otherwise, it would mean (you are a) coward and (that is) dangerous.”

This is not the first time that Chinese ambassador Lu Shaye made similar insulting remarks. On April 14, 2020, French Foreign Minister Le Drian summoned the Chinese ambassador because Ambassador Lu Shaye made some comments to the medical staff in a French nursing home. He wrote on the Embassy website that the medical staff in the French nursing home “left their jobs overnight and left the elderly in the nursing home to die of starvation and disease.”

1. Radio France Internationale, March 19, 2021