On Wednesday, one of China's most prominent "Wolf Warrior" diplomats was named the country's new ambassador to the United States.

The hawkish Qin Gang, a close confidante of President Xi Jinping, has arrived in Washington at a time when China and the US are at odds and are expected to send a combative message.

During his two stints as foreign ministry spokesman, he rose to prominence by issuing scathing responses to foreign journalists and pioneering a "Wolf Warrior" style of defending China in the press and on social media.

"As two big countries with different histories, cultures, social systems, and stages of development, China and the US are entering a new round of mutual exploration, understanding, and adaptation, trying to figure out how to get along with each other," Qin told reporters upon his arrival in Washington.

According to a transcript released by the Chinese embassy, the new envoy promised to get US-China relations "back on track."

In recent years, the relationship has rapidly deteriorated, with the two powers clashing on a variety of issues including trade, human rights, cybersecurity, and the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic.

While President Joe Biden has toned down his rhetoric since taking office, he has largely maintained his predecessor Donald Trump's hawkish stance on China, describing it as the world's most formidable adversary.

Qin, who served as the foreign ministry's protocol chief and accompanied Xi on numerous overseas trips, is one of the diplomats who has vociferously defended China in the face of mounting international criticism.

The 55-year-old is seen as a more hawkish figure in Washington than his predecessor, Cui Tiankai. He is fluent in English, having worked at the Chinese embassy in London for several years.

Hua Po, a Beijing-based independent analyst, described Qin as "one of the Wolf Warrior movement's backbone members."

In February, Qin defended this approach to diplomacy as necessary in the face of "baseless slander" and "crazy attacks against China."

Foreign ministry spokespeople and officials have taken a strident and indignant tone in defending the Communist-led country, even promoting conspiracy theories and openly insulting foreign counterparts.

To improve China's soft power, President Xi recently urged top political leaders to help cultivate a "reliable, admirable, and respectable" international image.


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