The South China Morning Post reported on May 14 that at an online seminar arranged by Tsinghua University on May 8, Prof. Shi Yinhong a Professor of International Relations at Renmin University and Advisor to China's State Council since 2011, said  “The aim is to promote the Chinese political system as superior, and to project the image of China as a world leader in combating a global health crisis, but the problem is, [these efforts] have failed to recognise the complexities that have emerged on the global stage during the pandemic, and they are being done too hastily, too soon and too loudly in tone, so there is a huge gap between what is intended and what is achieved.” He also said China should change course “as soon as possible” and instead take a more nuanced approach to the rising anti-China sentiment among policymakers in Washington. “When both the official and non-official media are all adopting an aggressive tone when reporting about the US, it’s not conducive to [turning] public opinion,” he said, suggesting Beijing should direct some of its official media to take a more conciliatory tone. He called for a halt to the debate about the origin of the virus “because this is only exacerbating the blame game between China and the US". In a separate online seminar organised by Renmin University on May 10, Zhu Feng, Dean of International Relations at Nanjing University, said the “Wolf Warriors” had worsened tensions between Beijing and Washington, and called on China to calm the situation and adjust its foreign policy. Professor Yan Xuetong, one of China’s leading thinkers on foreign affairs and security and Professor of International Relations at Tsinghua University and Advisor to China's National Security Council, said in an interview with Caixin on April 30, that “Some media outlets compare the progress made in China and in Europe in fighting against the epidemic, and they attribute [China’s relative success] to the difference in political systems. This kind of rhetoric risks creating a backlash in some of the European countries still battling the outbreak. Any direct or indirect criticism of other countries’ political systems will only exacerbate the ideological conflict.” said Yan, an international relations professor with Tsinghua University and an adviser to the National Security Commission. Yan Xuetong added that more “rationality” was needed and warned against the influence of nationalist sentiment on policymaking. 

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