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As Labour members and activists, we hold strong our commitment to the principles of human rights and freedom of speech internationally - just as we do at home. It is a deeply disturbing moment in Hong Kong’s history which sees new powers from the Chinese Communist Party signal an end to the one country two systems as we knew it and an end to all that was agreed in the joint declaration. This is a clear breach of China’s international obligation.

As tensions have escalated, so has the excessive force used by the police and with increased measures to repress protests and advocacy for democracy - all actions which have rightly been denounced by UN representatives.

We welcome the Government’s announcement to introduce a bespoke five-year visa for British National (overseas) holders – so they can be safe and join the thousands of other East and South East Asians who call the UK their home. We need to see the policy detail of how this will work, and how the Government will ensure smooth transition and welcome for those resettling in the UK. However not everyone will be covered under this scheme. Our obligation and a right to monitor the implementation of the joint declaration remains. We have a responsibility to consider the welfare of those are not able to re-locate or who wish to remain in Hong Kong.

We urge the Conservative government to enforce Magnitsky sanctions against those who acted against human rights. We must work closely with our international partners for a multilateral approach in defending the freedom and rights of people in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong

Chinese for Labour Statement on Hong Kong

As Labour members and activists, we hold strong our commitment to the principles of human rights and freedom of speech internationally - just as we do at home. It is...

i_will_eat_with_you.jpg

Eat Southeast and East Asian Food | Leap Day Weekend!

Friday 28 February – Sunday 1 March 2020


Chinese people in the UK are facing increasing levels of racist abuse - many have had ‘coronavirus’ shouted at them in the street, on public transport, in the workplace. But it is not only Chinese people. It is ALL Eastand South East Asianswho are under attack, and even those who seek to protect them.

A British Thai city worker has been violently assaulted and left bleeding with a broken nose, and a South Asian woman was punched unconscious when defending her Chinese friend from a racist attack. East and South East Asian businesses have been decimated.

Yet the virus was in fact brought to Britain by a white businessman. This fact has been ignored. There is no more likelihood of contracting the virus from an East or South East Asian than anyone else.

From Friday 28 February to Sunday 1 March 2020, we are supporting the #IWillEatWithYoucampaign to help East and South East Asian communities and their local businesses.

Don’t be dictated to by fears which are based on racism.

SkyNews, the BBC, Channel 5 and other media outlets have reported on this unacceptable escalation in racist attacks. Other media sources have created scaremongering headlines based on racialised conjecture, which fuel further fear and assaults.

You can help. So fight racism – join this simple campaign. Get a takeaway or sit in at your favourite local eateries and share your photos on social media with the hashtags #IWillEatWithYou #LoveChinaTown #HateRacism

#IWillEatWithYou

Eat Southeast and East Asian Food | Leap Day Weekend! Friday 28 February – Sunday 1 March 2020 Chinese people in the UK are facing increasing levels of racist abuse...

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The current Coronavirus outbreak originating from the Wuhan region of China has emboldened a wave of bigotry and racist rhetoric targeting the Chinese.

Once genomic sequencing identified that the virus originated from a strain found in bats the immediate response from many armchair epidemiologists, including some in the media, was to proclaim the cause was the Chinese practise of consuming bats whole.

Photos swarmed social media of tourist stalls selling bat soup, none of them traceable to the Wuhan fish market where the virus originates.

During the current winter season the bats are in hibernation and are not currently eaten.

The consumption of bats exists as a cultural practise across Asia, Africa and the pacific.

Indeed, most of the footage used for fear-mongering originates from Palau, separated from the mainland by 3000km of ocean.

The claims that China’s outbreak of Coronavirus originates from their food culture are both laughable and xenophobic.

We might just as easily slander the American pork industry for the 2009 Swine flu epidemic.

It is much easier to predict the convergence of multiple human-compatible swine flu strains within a battery farm than to anticipate a bat specific strain of coronavirus spontaneously making two species jumps to infect humans.

More than merely being xenophobic, these explanations also place the blame for the pandemic on its victims.

Zoonotic transmission and food contamination are issues that can occur anywhere on the globe, but specific scorn is being levied at the Chinese.

The pattern playing out around the coronavirus is the same one that can be seen going back to the 2014 ebolavirus, 1970s HIV pandemic, or the bubonic plague.

Writing on the great diseases of the 20th century, Susan Sontag noted the way we view diseases has changed over time, but almost always we blame the diseased.

HIV was seen as a plague of the promiscuous and thus contracting HIV carried the stigma of sexuality. Prior to HIV the same was said of cancer.

Sontag describes how cancer was often written of as a disease of the depressed, and that dying from cancer was seen as a personal failure to not “fight hard enough.”

Before this was tuberculosis, the plague of artists: It was believed that tuberculosis would only afflict the creative, and many artists therefore sought to emulate the symptoms.Attached to many diseases throughout history are accusations of blame.

HIV was proclaimed a divine punishment upon the drug addicts and the gay community. These groups weren’t persecuted because of HIV, but HIV enabled it to be justified.

Coronavirus is being used in the same way; the existing biases people hold against Chinese culture are provided an excuse by the coronavirus.

Diseases are often blamed on the people who catch them. For their diets, their sexualities, their religious beliefs. In truth people catch diseases because of viruses, which can evolve and spread unpredictably from anywhere in the globe.

Treating diseases as metaphors for cultural or character weakness doesn’t work because human biology isn’t a poem.

 

This article was first published in Redaction Politics

Mason Quah
Chinese for Labour Member

Why the Coronavirus scare is smoke-screening racism towards the Chinese

  The current Coronavirus outbreak originating from the Wuhan region of China has emboldened a wave of bigotry and racist rhetoric targeting the Chinese. Once genomic sequencing identified that the...

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