Zhao Lijian is a Chinese politician and the deputy director of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Information Department. He is the 31st spokesperson since the position was established in 1983. He joined the foreign service in 1996, and has served primarily in Asia. Zhao became notable during his time serving in Pakistan for his outspoken use of Twitter, a social network website that is blocked within China. He has been identified as a prominent leader of the new generation of "China's 'Wolf Warrior' Diplomats."
Zhao Lijian was born in the town of Yaowangzhuang, in Luannan County, Tangshan, Hebei in November 1972. He graduated from Luannan County No. 1 Middle School and Central South University in Changsha, Hunan He obtained a master's degree in public policy from the Korea Development Institute, where he studied between February and December 2005.
Zhao joined the Department of Asian Affairs in 1996 as an attaché. He was transferred to the Chinese embassy in Pakistan as the attaché to the third secretary in 2003. In 2013, he was recalled to the Department of Asian Affairs. From 2015 to August 2019, he served as counsellor and minister counsellor of the Chinese Embassy in Islamabad. During his tenure there, he used the name "Muhammad Lijian Zhao" on his official Twitter account, but he dropped "Muhammad" in 2017 after there were reports that China banned several Islamic names in Xinjiang.
Zhao became well known for his frequent use of Twitter to criticize the United States, including on topics such as race relations and the United States foreign policy in the Middle East. Paired with his press conference statements, he has established a "long history of provocative assertions. Zhao has been deputy director of Foreign Ministry Information Department of the People's Republic of China since August 2019.