Under Xi Jinping, China's diplomats have abandoned charm for an aggressive approach called "Wolf Warrior" diplomacy, with envoys taking to Twitter to insult their host countries or threaten trade war against governments that criticize China. Named after a 2017 action blockbuster featuring a Chinese Rambo shooting up foreign bad guys in Africa, the pugnacious diplomacy has been directed at countries as distinct as Sweden, Venezuela and India -- and appears to be getting the same reviews as the movie. Wolf Warrior won awards inside China, but foreign critics cringed at what they described as "heavy-handed flag-waving," "jingoistic jubilance," and "unintentionally amusing" dialog.
The European Commission on May 7 put Cambodia on a blacklist of 12 "high-risk" countries with deficient anti-money laundering programs that "pose significant threats to the EU's financial system." Money laundering in Cambodia often takes the form of elites, including relatives of strongman Hun Sen, hiding money of unknown provenance in overseas banks or real estate, an RFA investigation has shown.
China said on May 21 it would "perfect the legal system" of Hong Kong with national security legislation targeting dissent, while media reports said the Chinese Communist Party might simply insert the unpopular law directly onto Hong Kong's statute book without ratification by the city's legislature -- moves that threaten the "high degree of autonomy" and a separate legal jurisdiction the former British colony was promised for 50 years after 1997.
While state propaganda portrays China as a heroic helper in the fight against the global coronavirus pandemic, a number of governments around the world are exploring legal options for holding Beijing accountable for covering up the outbreak in critical early days.
Eyes on Earth Inc., a U.S. research firm specializing in water, published a study April 13 showing that China’s 11 Mekong River dams held back water and exacerbated a damaging drought in downstream countries Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.
Critics of China's controversial early handling of the coronavirus outbreak that started in Wuhan say the World Health Organization (WHO) has been co-opted by Beijing and is addressing the global pandemic with political deference to Beijing.
Eric Yuan, CEO of Zoom Video Technologies, acknowledged in a live-streamed broadcast on April 8 that the company had made “missteps” in the face of surge of users working from home during the coronavirus pandemic, including routing traffic through China, raising security and privacy concerns.
The United Nations on April 1 announced a global partnership in which Chinese tech firm Tencent will host and provide technical support for large-scale online global dialogue -- including on the coronavirus -- through Tencent's VooV Meeting, WeChat Work, and Tencent Artificial Intelligence Simultaneous Interpretation. The firm has a history of collaborating with Chinese state monitoring and censorship.
The coronavirus has prompted the postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games and Euro Cup football tournment, as well as the cancellation or postponement of major professional sports.
China is struggling to change the story of how the COVID-19 pandemic came about and spread around the world.
China’s propaganda drive to rewrite the narrative surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak took a bizarre turn this week when a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, Zhao Lijian, tweeted that “it might be the US army” that brought the coronavirus to China.
China's state media, initially on the defensive for a perceived slow response to the coronavirus epidemic, now tells the world to thank China for curbing its spread.
The U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) this month revised its criteria in measuring emerging economies, removing China from its list of "developing countries" eligible for preferential treatment in trade matters.
A livestreamed video of a man loading protective masks into black government vehicle next to a Red Cross warehouse in Wuhan sparked outrage online in China, where the coronavirus outbreak has tested public faith in their government.
China's response to the coronavirus epidemic has rare drawn criticism of Xi Jinping's top-down leadership style.