The Boys Who Cried Wolf Warrior: China’s Diplomatic Strategy in Latin America
Benjamin, C (2023). The Boys Who Cried Wolf Warrior: China’s Diplomatic Strategy in Latin America https://revistas.uniandes.edu.co/index.php/colombia-int/article/view/3001/1798
Objective/Context: This article examines the evolution of China’s diplomatic strategy in Latin America in terms of how effectively Chinese diplomats have adapted to the demands of their country’s multi-dimensional engagement with the region over the past three decades. This strategy underpins China’s investments in the region and relates to regional integration and cultural cooperation issues. Methodology: The study draws on a database compiled by the author, tracking the careers of all senior Chinese diplomats in Latin America from 1990 to 2020. It is a qualitative study with quantitative data aggregation, comprising representative case studies. Conclusions: The author observes changes in how China’s diplomats of the twenty-first century have embraced network diplomacy and enhanced their abilities to engage with foreign publics and governments. The competence of diplomats to get locally involved and demonstrate positive results has been tested, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the excesses of the so-called Wolf Warrior diplomacy appear to have been reined in. The study demonstrates a continuous evolution in the centrally crafted yet often competing efforts of the organizations involved in China’s overseas operations, including ministries, Communist Party organizations, and educational institutions. Originality: By focusing on diplomats as key agents the study offers new insights into China’s diplomatic and economic engagement with the region of Latin America. It also uses a novel database that will be publicly accessible following the publication of this study.