As social media blew up with an exchange of insults, satirical cartoons, and angry tweets following the ruling by the Hague’s arbitration tribunal that China has “no historic title over the waters of the South China Sea,” Chinese netizens found a new idol to channel their nationalism through: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
Wang said after the ruling was announced on Tuesday that the arbitration was “a political farce under the pretext of law,” and “now the farce is over, it is time for things to go back to normal,” state-run media outlet Xinhua reported.
Netizens flooded the microblogging platform Weibo with declarations of admiration for Wang, with many reposting a video of him attacking a Canadian reporter from last month.
One Weibo user shared the video on Tuesday evening along with the hashtag “no part should be missing from China,” referring to the South China Sea claims. It received over 17,000 “likes.”
“Foreign Minister Wang Yi angrily retorts a reporter, saying: ‘your question is full of prejudice against China and a sense of arrogance that came from god-knows-where – and this is totally unacceptable’,” the post said.
“Wang Yi has a domineering air to him and every word spoken is powerful, demonstrating the nationalistic pride of Chinese people. The Chinese don’t need foreigners to tell them what to do. Minister Wang is so handsome!” another said in reference to the video.
Another cited remarks Wang has made in the past in reference to the South China Sea dispute, and one Weibo user even said Wang has become the “national male god” of China overnight.