Discrimination

Chinese parents and their children gather at an education fair in Hefei, eastern China's Anhui province, as they search for suitable colleges for further education on June 27, 2009. (AFP)

Study in the US? Chinese students are having second thoughts

The US used to be an attractive place for Chinese students and families, but given its current poor handling of the coronavirus outbreak and emergence of strong anti-Chinese sentiment, many Chinese are reconsidering whether to move there for studies and work. Zaobao journalist Meng Dandan speaks to young Chinese and their families.
A man wearing a face mask amid the Covid-19 pandemic drives his motorbike along a street in Wuhan, China, on 24 April 2020. (STR/AFP)

A fragmented Chinese society after the pandemic?

Lang Youxing observes that while the pandemic brought the Chinese people together to overcome an unprecedented crisis, it has also unearthed a serious state of polarisation within Chinese society. Conflicting views rule, and netizens in WeChat chat groups mourn the loss of friends with the phrase “Goodbye, my classmates!” after vociferous arguments about Covid-19 and China's position. Bidding farewell to classmates is one thing, but can one say goodbye to society?
China can easily face a passive disadvantage in handling its external relations if callow nationalists gain control of the Internet. In this photo taken on 14 April 2020, people wearing face masks are seen at a main shopping area after the lockdown was lifted in Wuhan, China. (Aly Song/Reuters)

Chinese nationalist internet warriors creating diplomatic disputes for China

China is finding out that overzealous nationalist internet warriors can do its foreign relations more harm than good. Zaobao correspondent Yang Danxu learns that China's neighbouring countries are taking these internet voices seriously because of China's unique political system.     
This file photo taken on March 2, 2018 shows people gathering on a street in the "Little Africa" district in Guangzhou, the capital of southern China's Guangdong province. Africans in southern China's largest city say they have become targets of suspicion and subjected to forced evictions, arbitrary quarantines and mass coronavirus testing. (Fred Dufour/AFP)

Officials say no differential treatment of African community but Chinese in Africa fear sinophobia

Amid claims of discrimination against Africans in Guangzhou in terms of coronavirus controls, the Guangzhou authorities have stressed that there is no differential treatment of foreigners. Meanwhile, Chinese in and out of China are worried about a second wave of the virus, and retaliation by locals in other countries. Zaobao correspondent Edwin Ong reports.
Can the Covid-19 pandemic let us rethink how we treat foreigners, and whether and how our attitude toward foreigners reflects our character and our values as a person, a community, or a nation? A look at the attitude toward foreigners in an earlier time may give us some perspective on our current situation. This is an old map of Asia created by Willem Bleau and published in Amsterdam, ca. 1650. (iStock)

Us and them: Lessons from ancient China about demonising 'enemies'

The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the notion of ethnic groups and accentuated the distinction between "us" and "them". What was it like in ancient China? How did the Chinese people look at the world around them and were the "outsiders" friends or enemies? While admitting that human society does not always act in its best interest, historian Prof Poo reminds us to differentiate between rhetoric and reality, to value good neighbourliness, and to be aware that groups are vulnerable to political manipulation.
In 1904, The Judge magazine ran this cartoon titled The New Square-Deal Deck, with Theodore Roosevelt saying, "Come, now, gentlemen; it is time to throw aside that worn-out deck and try one which will give both of you a square deal." The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 was repeatedly extended, sparking anger from the Chinese government and overseas Chinese. In the picture, a Chinese and Uncle Sam take turns to play their political cards, neither side willing to give in.

[Photo story] China-US relations in the late 19th century: Is history repeating itself?

Were China-US relations always as they are now? Or was there something that changed the situation? Historical photo collector Hsu Chung-mao presents powerful images from US magazines in the late 19th century, which depict sinophobia in US society and difficulties in China-US relations more than a century ago. Are these images proof that history repeats itself?
Passers-by pass by a shop in Via Paolo Sarpi, the commercial street of the Chinese district of Milan on 30 January 2020. (Miguel Medina/AFP)

Covid-19: Racist behaviour must not go unchecked in Europe

Stories of race-related incidents have crawled out of the woodwork and spread almost as fast and venomously as the coronavirus itself. Zhou Ruirui of the Centre of Globalisation and Governance at Hamburg University says it’s time for some self-reflection.
A young man posted this photo, along with the text: "Je suis Chinois, mais je ne suis pas un virus!! Je sais que tout le monde a peur au virus, mais pas de préjugé, svp. (I am Chinese, but I am not a virus! I know that everyone is afraid of the virus, but please do not pre-judge us.)" (@ChengwangL/Twitter)

[Photo story] When Chinese are not welcome

One month since the Wuhan coronavirus epidemic surfaced, accounts of racism have been reported around the world. Mainland Chinese, Hong Kongers, Taiwanese, people of Chinese or Asian descent, have been subjected to unfriendly and sometimes hostile and degrading words and behaviour. But some people are hoping to prove that solidarity in hard times does exist.