Beijing: President Xi Jinping has called for better international communication, urging the bellicose official Chinese media and 'wolf warrior' diplomats to adopt a tone that displays openness and conveys modesty, in what observers see as a rare admission of Beijing’s growing isolation exacerbated by COVID-19.

Xi, 67, who carries the image of being the most powerful Chinese leader after 'Chairman' Mao Zedong with possible life-long tenure in power, in a candid conversation at a group study session of the Politburo of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) on Monday said, new concepts, domains and expressions should be created to tell China's stories in a better way.

In a comment seen as an expression of dissatisfaction with the current lot of “wolf warrior” diplomats and bellicose official media outlets, Xi spoke of the need for conveying the message with modesty and humility.

Xi said a tone that displayed openness, confidence and conveyed modesty and humility must be maintained, the state-run China Daily said in its report on the speech.

China needs a voice that matches its national strength and international status, it said.

“It is necessary to give better play to the role of high-level experts and use platforms and channels such as important international conferences and forums and foreign mainstream media to speak out,” Xi said.

He also emphasised the efforts to introduce the Chinese culture abroad and strive to shape a reliable, admirable and respectable image of the Communist giant.

“It is necessary to make friends, unite and win over the majority, and constantly expand the circle of friends [when it comes to] international public opinion,” Xi was quoted as saying.

Asked whether China will take a different approach in its diplomatic efforts in the light of Xi’s remarks, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a media briefing here on Wednesday that the comments were in line with China’s 'peaceful development'.