lørdag 27. mars 2021

China has unleashed the nationalist genie. Beijing may regret letting it out of the bottle

"The United States does not have the qualification to speak to China."

As far as slogans go, it's not necessarily the catchiest. But the phrase, along with several others uttered by top Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi during heated talks with the US earlier this month, has become an unlikely fashion hit in China, appearing on T-shirts, phone cases and other items. The arrival of the T-shirts on Chinese e-commerce sites -- just hours after Yang traded barbs with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Alaska -- captures the changing mood in Beijing, as policy makers signal a new willingness to push back against criticism of alleged human rights abuses, particularly those centered on Xinjiang.

In recent days, China has leveled reciprocal sanctions against the United Kingdom and the European Union, targeting lawmakers and academics, which it accused of "maliciously spreading lies and disinformation" regarding Beijing's treatment of Uyghur Muslims. China's so-called "wolf warrior" diplomats and state media have attacked Western governments online, rallying against what they term "hypocritical double standards," while drawing attention to the West's own legacy of historical injustice.