Racism in China
Racism in China arises from Chinese history, nationalism, sinicization, and other factors. They have driven historical movements such as the Red Turban Rebellion (which targeted the Mongol leadership of the Yuan Dynasty) and the Xinhai Revolution, which overthrew the Manchu Qing Dynasty. Racism in modern China has been documented in numerous situations. Ethnic tensions have led to incidents in the country such as the Xinjiang conflict, the ongoing Uyghur genocide, the 2010 Tibetan language protest, the 2020 Inner Mongolia protests, anti-Western sentiment in China and discrimination against Africans and people of African descent.
China is a largely homogenous society; over 90% of its population has historically been Han Chinese. Some of the country's ethnic groups are distinguishable by physical appearance and relatively-low intermarriage rates. Others have married Han Chinese and resemble them. A growing number of ethnic minorities are fluent at a native level in Mandarin Chinese. Children sometimes receive ethnic-minority status at birth if one of their parents belongs to an ethnic minority, even if their ancestry is predominantly Han Chinese. Pockets of immigrants and foreign residents exist in some cities.
Massacres of JieEdit
Some ethnic conflicts were violent. During the 350 AD Wei–Jie war, the Chinese leader Ran Min massacred non-Chinese Wu Hu in retaliation for abuses against the Chinese population; the Jie people were particularly affected. In the period between 350 and 352, during the Wei–Jie war, General Ran Min ordered the complete extermination of the [[Jie, who were easily identified by high noses and full beards, leading to large numbers being killed. According to some sources more than 200,000 of them were slain.
Troops commanded by Tian Shengong slaughtered Arab and Persian merchants in the Yangzhou massacre (760). The rebel Huang Chao's army killed Arab, Jewish, Christian, and Parsi merchants in the Guangzhou massacre when he captured Guang Prefecture.
The Tang dynasty Goguryeo general Gao Juren ordered a mass slaughter of Sogdian Caucasians identifying them through their big noses and lances were used to impale Caucasian children when he stormed Beijing (Fanyang) from An Lushan when he defeated An Lushan's rebels.
Despite the Muslims' high position, the Yuan Mongols discriminated against them: restricting halal slaughter and other Islamic practices, such as circumcision (and kosher butchering for Jews). Genghis Khan called Muslims "slaves". Muslim generals eventually joined the Han Chinese in rebelling against the Mongols. Ming dynasty founder Zhu Yuanzhang had Muslim generals (including Lan Yu) who rebelled against the Mongols and defeated them in battle. Semu-caste Muslims revolted against the Yuan dynasty in the Ispah rebellion, although the rebellion was crushed and the Muslims massacred by Yuan commander Chen Youding.
Anti-Muslim persecution by the Yuan dynasty and Ispah rebellionEdit
The Yuan dynasty started passing anti-Muslim and anti-Semu laws and getting rid of Semu Muslim privileges towards the end of the Yuan dynasty, in 1340 forcing them to follow Confucian principles in marriage regulations, in 1329 all foreign holy men including Muslims had tax exemptions revoked, in 1328 the position of Muslim Qadi was abolished after its powers were limited in 1311. In the middle of the 14th century this caused Muslims to start rebelling against Mongol Yuan rule and joining rebel groups. In 1357-1367 the Yisibaxi Muslim Persian garrison started the Ispah rebellion against the Yuan dynasty in Quanzhou and southern Fujian. Persian merchants Amin ud-Din (Amiliding) and Saif ud-Din) Saifuding led the revolt. Persian official Yawuna assassinated both Amin ud-Din and Saif ud-Din in 1362 and took control of the Muslim rebel forces. The Muslim rebels tried to strike north and took over some parts of Xinghua but were defeated at Fuzhou two times and failed to take it. Yuan provincial loyalist forces from Fuzhou defeated the Muslim rebels in 1367 after A Muslim rebel officer named Jin Ji defected from Yawuna.[failed verification]
The Muslim merchants in Quanzhou who engaged in maritime trade enriched their families which encompassed their political and trade activities as families. Historian John W. Chaffee saw the violent Chinese backlash that happened at the end of the Yuan dynasty against the wealth of the Muslim and Semu as something probably inevitable, although anti-Muslim and anti-Semu laws had already been passed by the Yuan dynasty. In 1340 all marriages had to follow Confucian rules, in 1329 all foreign holy men and clerics including Muslims no longer were exempt from tax, in 1328 the Qadi (Muslim headmen) were abolished after being limited in 1311. This resulted in anti-Mongol sentiment among Muslims so some anti-Mongol rebels in the mid 14th century were joined by Muslims. Quanzhou came under control of Amid ud-Din (Amiliding) and Saif ud-Din (Saifuding), two Persian military officials in 1357 as they revolted against the Mongols from 1357 to 1367 in southern Fujian and Quanzhou, leading the Persian garrison (Ispah) They fought for Fuzhou and Xinghua for 5 years. Both Saifuding and Amiliding were murdered by another Muslim called Nawuna in 1362 so he then took control of Quanzhou and the Ispah garrison for 5 more years until his defeat by the Yuan.
Yuan Massacres of MuslimsEdit
The historian Chen Dasheng theorized that Sunni-Shia sectarian war contributed to the Ispah rebellion, claiming that the Pu family and their in-law Yawuna were Sunnis and there before the Yuan while Amiliding and Saifuding's Persian soldiers were Shia originally in central China and moved to Quanzhou and that Jin Ji was a Shia who defected to Chen Youding after Sunni Yawuna killed Amiliding and Saifuding. Three fates befell the Muslims and foreigners in Quanzhou, the ones in the Persian garrison were slaughtered, many Persians and Arab merchants fled abroad by ships, another small group that adopted Chinese culture were expelled into coastal Baiqi, Chendi, Lufu and Zhangpu and mountainous Yongchun and Dehua and one other part took refuge in Quanzhou's mosques. The genealogies of Muslim families which survived the transition are the main source of information for the rebellion times. The Rongshan Li family, one of the Muslim survivors of the violence in the Yuan-Ming transition period wrote about their ancestors Li Lu during the rebellion who was a businessman and shipped things, using his private stores to feed hungry people during the rebellion and using his connections to keep safe. The Ming takeover after the end of the Persian garrison meant that the diaspora of incoming Muslims ended. After the Persian garrison full and the rebellion was crushed, the common people started a slaughter of the Pu family and all Muslims: "All of the Western peoples were annihilated, with a number of foreigners with large and big noses mistakenly killed while for three days the gates were closed and the executions were carried out. The corpses of the Pus were all stripped naked, their faces to the west. ... They were all judged according to the "five mutilating punishments" and then executed with their carcasses throwing into pig troughs. This was in revenge for their murder and rebellion in the Song." (“是役也，凡西域人尽歼之，胡发高鼻有误杀者，闭门行诛三日。”“凡蒲尸皆裸体，面西方……悉令具五刑而诛之，弃其哉于猪槽中。”)
80 merchant ships were commanded by Fo Lian, from Bahrain who was Pu Shougeng's son-in-law. The Qais born Supterintendent of Taxes for Persian and the Island, Jamal al-din Ibrahim Tibi had a son who was sent in 1297-1305 as an envoy to China. Wassaf, and Arab historian said that Jamal became wealthy due to trade with India and China. Patronage networks and monopolies controlled Yuan maritime trade unlike in the Song dynasty where foreigners and Chinese of the Song merchant elite reaped profits. Quanzhou's end as an international trading port was rapid as in 1357 rebellions broke out in central China so the Persian merchants Amin ud-din (Amiliding) and Saif ud-din (Saifuding) led soldiers to take over Quanzhou. A Pu family relative by marriage, Yawuna, another Muslim assassinated those two. The Muslim rebels of the Persian garrison in Quanzhou lasted a decade by exploiting maritime trade and plunder. Yawuna and his army were captured and defeated by provincial forces in 1366 and then the Ming took over Quanzhou 2 years later in 1368. Maritime trade was regulated and implemented extremely differently in the Ming dynasty. Guangzhou, Ningbo and Quanzhou all had maritime trade offices but they were limited to specific areas. The South Sea trade was no longer permitted in Quanzhou and only trade with Ryukyu was allowed in Quanzhou. The Muslim community in Quanzhou became a target of the people's anger. In the streets there was widescale slaughter of "big nosed" westerners and Muslims as recorded in a genealogical account of a Muslim family. The era of Quanzhou as an international trading port of Asia ended as did the role of Muslims as merchant diaspora in Quanzhou. Some Muslims fled by sea or land as they were persecuted by the locals and others tried to hide and lay low as depicted in the genealogies of Quanzhou Muslims despite the Ming emperors attempted to issue laws tolerating Islam in 1407 and 1368 and putting the notices in mosques. Qais was the island of Kish and its king Jamal al-Din Ibrahim bin Muhammad al-Tibi briefly seized control of Hormuz while he traded with China and India and earned great wealth from it.
One of Sayyid Ajall Shams al-Din Omar's descendants, the Jinjiang Ding fled to Chendai (Jinjiang) on the coast of Quanzhou to avoid the violence of the Ispah rebellion. The Li family survived through philanthropy activities however they said that in the rebellion "great families scattered from their homes, which were burned by the soldiers, and few genealogies survived." and used the words "a bubbling cauldron" to describe Quanzhou. In 1368 Quanzhou came under Ming control and the atmosphere calmed down for the Muslims. The Ming Yongle emperor issued decrees of protection from individuals and officials in mosques such as Quanzhou mosques and his father before him Ming Taizu had support from Muslim generals in his wars to reunify the country so he showed tolerance to them. The Ming passed some laws saying that Muslims not use Chinese surnames. Some genealogies of Muslims like the Li family show debate over teaching Confucian culture and classics like Odes and History or to practice Islam. Ming Taizu passed laws concerning maritime trade which were the major impact upon the life of Quanzhou Muslims. He restricted official maritime trade in Quanzhou to Ryukyu and Guangzhou was to monopolize south sea trade in the 1370s and 1403-1474 after initial getting rid of the Office of Maritime Trade altogether in 1370. Up to the late 16th century, private trade was banned.
Persian Sunni Muslims Sayf al-din (Sai-fu-ding) and Awhad al-Din (A-mi-li-ding) started the Ispah rebellion in 1357 against the Yuan dynasty in Quanzhou and attempted to reach Fuzhou, capital of Fujian. Yuan general Chen Youding defeated the Muslim rebels and slaughtered Muslims of foreign descent in Quanzhou and areas next to Quanzhou. This led to many Muslim foreign fleeing to Java and other places in Southeast Asia to escape the massacres, spreading the Islamic religion. Gresik was ruled by a person from China's Guangdong province and it had a thousand Chinese families who moved there in the 14th century with the name Xin Cun (New Village) in Chinese. THis information was reported by Ma Huan who accompanied Zheng He to visit Java in the 15th century. Ma Huan also mentions Guangdong was the source of many Muslims from China who moved to Java. Cu Cu/Jinbun was said to be Chinese. And like most Muslims form China, Wali Sanga Sunan Giri was Hanafi according to Stamford Raffles. Ibn Battuta had visited Quanzhou's large multi-ethnic Muslim community before the Ispah rebellion in 1357 when Muslim soldiers attempted to rebel against the Yuan dynasty. In 1366 the Mongols slaughtered the Sunni Muslims of Quanzhou and ended the rebellion. The Yuan dynasty's violent end saw repeated slaughters of Muslims until the Ming dynasty in 1368. The role of trade in Quanzhou ended as Sunni Muslims fled to Southeast Asia from Quanzhou. The surviving Muslims who fled Quanzhou moved to Manila bay, Brunei, Sumatra, Java and Champa to trade. Zheng He's historian Ma Huan noticed the presence of these Muslim traders in Southeast Asia who had fled form China in his voyages in Barus in Sumatra, Trengganu on the Malayan peninsula, Brunei and Java. The Nine Wali Sanga who converted Java to Islam had Chinese names and originated from Chinese speaking Quanzhou Muslims who fled there in the 14th century around 1368. The Suharto regime banned talk about this after Mangaradja Parlindungan, a Sumatran Muslim engineer wrote about it in 1964.
Widespread violence against the Manchu people by Han Chinese rebels occurred during the Xinhai Revolution, most notably in Xi'an (where the Manchu quarter's population—20,000—was killed) and Wuhan (where 10,000 Manchus were killed).[failed verification] Some scholars claim that the Manchus were seen as uncivilized and lacking culture, adopting Han Chinese and Tibetan culture instead.
Tensions erupted between Muslim sects, ethnic groups, the Tibetans and Han Chinese during the late 19th century near Qinghai. According to volume eight of the Encyclopædia of Religion and Ethics, the Muslim Dungan and Panthay revolts were ignited by racial antagonism and class warfare.
The Ush rebellion in 1765 by Uyghur Muslims against the Manchus occurred after Uyghur women were gang raped by the servants and son of Manchu official Su-cheng. It was said that Ush Muslims had long wanted to sleep on [Sucheng and son's] hides and eat their flesh. because of the rape of Uyghur Muslim women for months by the Manchu official Sucheng and his son. The Manchu Emperor ordered that the Uyghur rebel town be massacred, the Qing forces enslaved all the Uyghur children and women and slaughtered the Uyghur men. Manchu soldiers and Manchu officials regularly having sex with or raping Uyghur women caused massive hatred and anger by Uyghur Muslims to Manchu rule. The invasion by Jahangir Khoja was preceded by another Manchu official, Binjing who raped a Muslim daughter of the Kokan aqsaqal from 1818 to 1820. The Qing sought to cover up the rape of Uyghur women by Manchus to prevent anger against their rule from spreading among the Uyghurs.
The Manchu official Shuxing'a started an anti-Muslim massacre which led to the Panthay Rebellion. Shuxing'a developed a deep hatred of Muslims after an incident where he was stripped naked and nearly lynched by a mob of Muslims.
The Hui Muslim community was divided in its support for the 1911 Xinhai Revolution. The Hui Muslims of Shaanxi supported the revolutionaries and the Hui Muslims of Gansu supported the Qing. The native Hui Muslims (Mohammedans) of Xi'an (Shaanxi province) joined the Han Chinese revolutionaries in slaughtering the entire 20,000 Manchu population of Xi'an. The native Hui Muslims of Gansu province led by general Ma Anliang sided with the Qing and prepared to attack the anti-Qing revolutionaries of Xi'an city. Only some wealthy Manchus who were ransomed and Manchu females survived. Wealthy Han Chinese seized Manchu girls to become their slaves and poor Han Chinese troops seized young Manchu women to be their wives. Young pretty Manchu girls were also seized by Hui Muslims of Xi'an during the massacre and brought up as Muslims.
Republic of China (20th century)Edit
Ethnic resentment resurfaced in at the end of the Qing Dynasty, in the early 20th century, as expemplified by Uyghur leader Sabit Damulla Abdulbaki's remarks about ROC Chinese and Tungans (Hui Muslims):
The Tungans, more than the Han, are the enemy of our people. Today our people are already free from the oppression of the Han, but still continue under Tungan subjugation. We must still fear the Han, but cannot fear the Tungans also. The reason we must be careful to guard against the Tungans, we must intensely oppose, cannot afford to be polite. Since the Tungans have compelled us, we must be this way. Yellow Han people have not the slightest thing to do with Eastern Turkestan. Black Tungans also do not have this connection. Eastern Turkestan belongs to the people of Eastern Turkestan. There is no need for foreigners to come be our fathers and mothers ... From now on we do not need to use foreigners language, or their names, their customs, habits, attitudes, written language, etc. We must also overthrow and drive foreigners from our boundaries forever. The colors yellow and black are foul. They have dirtied our land for too long. So now it is absolutely necessary to clean out this filth. Take down the yellow and black barbarians! Long live Eastern Turkestan!"
An American telegram reported that Uyghur groups in parts of Xinjiang demanded the expulsion of White Russians and Han Chinese from Xinjiang during the Ili Rebellion. The Uyghurs reportedly said, "We freed ourselves from the yellow men, now we must destroy the white". According to the telegram, "Serious native attacks on people of other races frequent. White Russians in terror of uprising."
A Hui soldier from the 36th Division called Swedish explorer Sven Hedin a "foreign devil", and Tungans were reportedly "strongly anti-Japanese". During the 1930s, a White Russian driver for Nazi agent Georg Vasel in Xinjiang was afraid to meet Hui general Ma Zhongying, saying: "You know how the Tungans hate the Russians." Vasel passed the Russian driver off as a German.
A Chinese Muslim general encountered by writer Peter Fleming thought that his visitor was a foreign "barbarian" until he learned that Fleming's outlook was Chinese. Fleming saw a Uyghur grovel at the general's feet, and other Uyghurs were treated contemptuously by his soldiers.[failed verification] Racial slurs were allegedly used by the Chinese Muslim troops against Uyghurs.[failed verification] Ma Qi's Muslim forces ravaged the Labrang Monastery over an eight-year period.
Racist incidents continue to occur in modern China and have become a contentious topic because Chinese governmental sources deny or downplay its existence. Scholars have noted that the party line of the People's Republic of China largely portrays racism as a Western phenomenon which has led to a lack of acknowledgement of racism in its own society. The Constitution of the People's Republic of China states that discrimination against and the oppression of any ethnic group is prohibited. Conversely, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination reported in August 2018 that Chinese law does not properly define "racial discrimination" and lacks an anti-racial discrimination law in line with the Paris Principles.
Despite rhetoric about equality among China's 56 recognized ethnic groups, in November 2012, General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, Xi Jinping released his model of the Chinese Dream, which has been criticized by scholars and media as Han-centric.
A 100-day crackdown on illegal foreigners in Beijing began in May 2012, with Beijing residents wary of foreign nationals due to recent crimes. China Central Television host Yang Rui said, controversially, that "foreign trash" should be cleaned out of the capital.
Anti-Japanese sentiment primarily stems from Japanese war crimes which were committed during the Second Sino-Japanese War. History-textbook revisionism in Japan and the denial (or whitewashing) of events such as the Nanking Massacre by the Japanese far-right has continued to inflame anti-Japanese feeling in China. It has been alleged that anti-Japanese sentiment is also partially the result of political manipulation by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).[failed verification] According to a BBC report, anti-Japanese demonstrations received tacit approval from Chinese authorities, however the Chinese ambassador to Japan Wang Yi said that the Chinese government does not condone such protests.
Jingyuan Qian and others contend that historical conflicts between the Han Chinese and Muslims like the Northwest Hui Rebellion have been used by some Han Chinese to legitimize and fuel anti-Muslim beliefs and bias in contemporary China. Scholars and researchers have also argued that Western Islamophobia and the "War on Terror" have contributed to the mainstreaming of anti-Muslim sentiments and practices in China. Recent studies have shown that Chinese news media coverage of Muslims and Islam is generally negative, in which portrayals of Muslims as dangerous and prone to terrorism, or as recipients of disproportionate aid from the government was common. Studies have also revealed that Chinese cyberspace contains much anti-Muslim rhetoric and that non-Muslim Chinese hold negative views towards Muslims and Islam. Discrimination and attacks against Muslims and mosques have been reported.
Conflict with UyghursEdit
In Bayanday there is a brick factory,
it had been built by the Chinese.
If the Chinese are killed by soldiers,
the Tungans take over the plundering.
In the early 20th century, Uyghurs would reportedly not enter Hui mosques, and Hui and Han households were built together in a town; Uyghurs would live farther away. Uyghurs have been known to view Hui Muslims from other provinces of China as hostile and threatening. Mixed Han and Uyghur children are known as erzhuanzi (二转子); there are Uyghurs who call them piryotki, and shun them.
A book by Guo Rongxing on the unrest in Xinjiang states that the 1990 Baren Township riot protests were the result of 250 forced abortions imposed upon local Uyghur women by the Chinese government.
The Chinese government and individual Han Chinese citizens have been accused of discrimination against and ethnic hatred towards the Uyghur minority. This was a reported cause of the July 2009 Ürümqi riots, which occurred largely along racial lines. A People's Daily essay referred to the events as "so-called racial conflict", and several Western media sources called them "race riots". According to The Atlantic in 2009, there was an unofficial Chinese policy of denying passports to Uyghurs until they reached retirement age, especially if they intended to leave the country for the pilgrimage to Mecca. A 2009 paper from the National University of Singapore reported that China's policy of affirmative action had actually worsened the rift between the Han and Uyghurs, but also noted that both ethnic groups could still be friendly with each other, citing a survey where 70% of Uyghur respondents had Han friends while 82% of Han had Uyghur friends.
It was observed in 2013 that at least in the workplace, Uyghur-Han relations seemed relatively friendly.
According to Central Asia-Caucasus Institute founder S. Fredrick Starr, tensions between Hui and Uyghurs arose because Qing and Republican Chinese authorities used Hui troops and officials to dominate the Uyghurs and suppress Uyghur revolts. The massacre of Uyghurs by Ma Zhongying's Hui troops in the Battle of Kashgar caused unease as more Hui moved into the region from other parts of China. Per Starr, the Uyghur population grew by 1.7 percent in Xinjiang between 1940 and 1982, and the Hui population increased by 4.4 percent, with the population-growth disparity serving to increase interethnic tensions.
Some Hui criticize Uyghur separatism. According to Dru C. Gladney, the Hui "don't tend to get too involved in international Islamic conflict. They don't want to be branded as radical Muslims." Hui and Uyghurs live and worship separately.
Han and Hui intermarry more than Uyghurs and Hui do, despite the latter's shared religion. Some Uyghurs believe that a marriage to a Hui is more likely to end in divorce.
The Sibe tend to believe negative stereotypes of Uyghurs and identify with the Han.[failed verification] According to David Eimer, one Han person had a negative view of Uyghurs but had a positive opinion of Tajiks in Tashkurgan.
Yengisar (يېڭىسار, Йеңисар) is known for the manufacture of Uyghur handcrafted knives—yingjisha (英吉沙刀 or 英吉沙小刀) in Chinese. Although the wearing of knives by Uyghur men (indicating the wearer's masculinity) is a significant part of Uyghur culture, it is seen as an aggressive gesture by others. The Uyghur word for knife is pichaq (پىچاق, пичақ), and the plural is pichaqchiliq (پىچاقچىلىقى, пичақчилиқ). Limitations were placed on knife vending due to terrorism and violent assaults where they were utilized. Robberies and assaults committed by groups of Uyghurs, including children sold to (or kidnapped by) gangs, have increased tensions. China has been working on multilateral anti-terrorism since the September 11 attacks and, according to the United Nations and the U.S. Department of State, some Uyghur separatist movements have been identified as terrorist groups.
Since 2017, the Chinese government has pursued a policy which has led to more than one million Muslims (the majority of them Uyghurs) being held in secretive detention camps without any legal process. Critics of the policy have described it as the sinicization of Xinjiang and called it an ethnocide or cultural genocide, with many activists, NGOs, human rights experts, government officials, and the U.S. government calling it a genocide. The Chinese government did not acknowledge the existence of these re-education camps until 2018 and called them "vocational education and training centers." This name was changed to "vocational training centers" in 2019. The camps tripled in size from 2018 to 2019 despite the Chinese government claiming that most of the detainees had been released. The Chinese Ambassador to the United States, Cui Tiankai has stated that accusations of genocide made by United States President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken are "inaccurate."
There are widespread reports of forced abortion, contraception, and sterilization both inside and outside the re-education camps. NPR reports that a 37-year-old pregnant woman from the Xinjiang region said that she attempted to give up her Chinese citizenship to live in Kazakhstan but was told by the Chinese government that she needed to come back to China to complete the process. She alleges that officials seized the passports of her and her two children before coercing her into receiving an abortion to prevent her brother from being detained in an internment camp. Zumrat Dwut, a Uyghur woman, claimed that she was forcibly sterilized by tubal ligation during her time in a camp before her husband was able to get her out through requests to Pakistani diplomats. The Xinjiang regional government denies that she was forcibly sterilized. The Associated Press reports that the there is a "widespread and systematic" practice of forcing Uyghur women to take birth control medication in the Xinjiang region, and many women have stated that they have been forced to receive contraceptive implants. The Heritage Foundation reported that officials forced Uyghur women to take unknown drugs and to drink some kind of white liquid that caused them to lose consciousness and sometimes causes them to cease menstruation altogether.
Tahir Hamut, an Uyghur Muslim, worked in a labor camp during elementary school when he was a child, and he later worked in a re-education camp as an adult, performing such tasks as picking cotton, shoveling gravel, and making bricks. "Everyone is forced to do all types of hard labor or face punishment," he said. "Anyone unable to complete their duties will be beaten."
Beginning in 2018, over one million Chinese government workers began forcibly living in the homes of Uyghur families to monitor and assess resistance to assimilation, and to watch for frowned-upon religious or cultural practices. These government workers were trained to call themselves "relatives" and have been described in Chinese state media as being a key part of enhancing "ethnic unity".
In March 2020, the Chinese government was found to be using the Uyghur minority for forced labor, inside sweat shops. According to a report published then by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), no fewer than around 80,000 Uyghurs were forcibly removed from the region of Xinjiang and used for forced labor in at least twenty-seven corporate factories. According to the Business and Human Rights resource center, corporations such as Abercrombie & Fitch, Adidas, Amazon, Apple, BMW, Fila, Gap, H&M, Inditex, Marks & Spencer, Nike, North Face, Puma, PVH, Samsung, and UNIQLO each have each sourced from these factories prior to the publication of the ASPI report.
Discrimination against TibetansEdit
Anti-Tibetan racism has been displayed by ethnic Han Chinese on some occations. Ever since its inception, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the sole legal ruling political party of the PRC (including Tibet), has been distributing historical documents which portray Tibetan culture as barbaric in order to justify Chinese control of the territory of Tibet, and is widely endorsed by Han Chinese nationalists. As such, many members of Chinese society have a negative view of Tibet which can be interpreted as racism. The traditional view[by whom?] is that Tibet was historically a feudal society which practiced serfdom/slavery and that this only changed due to Chinese influence in the region.
Most Muslims in Tibet are Hui. Although hostility between Tibetans and Muslims stems from the Muslim warlord Ma Bufang's rule in Qinghai (the Ngolok rebellions (1917–49) and the Sino-Tibetan War), in 1949 the Communists ended violence between Tibetans and Muslims. However, recent Tibetan-Muslim violence occurred. Riots broke out between Muslims and Tibetans over a bone in soups and the price of balloons; Tibetans accused Muslims of being cannibals who cooked humans, attacking Muslim restaurants. Fires set by Tibetans burned the apartments and shops of Muslims, and Muslims stopped wearing their traditional headwear and began to pray in secret. Chinese-speaking Hui also have problems with the Tibetan Hui (the Tibetan-speaking Kache Muslim minority).
The main mosque in Lhasa was burned down by Tibetans, and Hui Muslims were assaulted by rioters in the 2008 Tibetan unrest. Tibetan exiles and foreign scholars overlook sectarian violence between Tibetan Buddhists and Muslims. Most Tibetans viewed the wars against Iraq and Afghanistan after the September 11 attacks positively, and anti-Muslim attitudes resulted in boycotts of Muslim-owned businesses. Some Tibetan Buddhists believe that Muslims cremate their imams and use the ashes to convert Tibetans to Islam by making Tibetans inhale the ashes, although they frequently oppose proposed Muslim cemeteries.[need quotation to verify] Since the Chinese government supports the Hui Muslims, Tibetans attack the Hui to indicate anti-government sentiment and due to the background of hostility since Ma Bufang's rule; they resent perceived Hui economic domination.
In 1936, after Sheng Shicai expelled 20,000 Kazakhs from Xinjiang to Qinghai, Hui troops led by Ma Bufang reduced the number of Kazakhs to 135. Over 7,000 Kazakhs fled northern Xinjiang to the Tibetan Qinghai plateau region (via Gansu), causing unrest. Ma Bufang relegated the Kazakhs to pastureland in Qinghai, but the Hui, Tibetans and Kazakhs in the region continued to clash.
Discrimination against MongolsEdit
The CCP has been accused of sinicization by gradually replacing Mongolian languages with Mandarin Chinese. Critics call it cultural genocide for dismantling people's minority languages and eradicating their minority identities. The implementation of the Mandarin language policy began in Tongliao, because 1 million ethnic Mongols live there making it the most Mongolian-populated area. The 5 million Mongols are less than 20 percent of the population in Inner Mongolia.[better source needed]
The 2020 Inner Mongolia protests were caused by a curriculum reform imposed on ethnic schools by the China's Inner Mongolia Department of Education. The two-part reform replace Mongolian as the medium of instruction by Standard Mandarin in three particular subjects and replace three regional textbooks, printed in Mongolian script, by the nationally-unified textbook series edited by the Ministry of Education, written in Standard Mandarin. On a broader scale, the opposition to the curriculum change reflects the decline of regional language education in China.
On 20 September 2020, up to 5,000 ethnic Mongolians were arrested in Inner Mongolia for protesting against enacted policies that outlaw their nomadic pastoralism lifestyle. The director of the Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center (SMHRIC), Enghebatu Togochog, called it “cultural genocide” by the CCP. Two-third of the 6 million ethnic Mongolians have a nomadic lifestyle that has been practiced for millennia.
In October 2020, the Chinese regime asked Nantes History Museum in France not to use the words “Genghis Khan” and “Mongolia in the exhibition project dedicated to the history of Genghis Khan and the Mongol Empire. Nantes History Museum engaged the exhibition project in partnership with the Inner Mongolia Museum in Hohhot, China. Nantes History Museum stopped the exhibition project. The director of the Nantes museum, Bertrand Guillet, says: “Tendentious elements of rewriting aimed at completely eliminating Mongolian history and culture in favor of a new national narrative”.
Discrimination against Africans and people of African descentEdit
Reports of racial discrimination against Africans have trended in foreign media since the 1970s. The Chinese government has continually provided aid to China-friendly African countries, which includes funding university education for African students of elite backgrounds. Scholar Barry Sautman believes that tensions between African students and Chinese students escalated since the 1970s because of a lack of interaction between the two groups, racist remarks made by Chinese media, and an increase of racial assaults and slurs by Chinese students. Publicized incidents of discrimination against Africans have been the Nanjing anti-African protests in 1988 and a 1989 student-led protest in Beijing in response to an African dating a Chinese person. Police action against Africans in Guangzhou has also been reported as discriminatory. In 2009, accusations by Chinese media that African undocumented immigrants residing in China could be as high as 200,000 people sparked racist attacks over the internet against Africans and mixed African-Chinese people.
Reports of racism against Africans and black foreigners of African descent in China grew during the COVID-19 pandemic in mainland China. In response to criticism over COVID-19 related racism and discrimination against Africans in China, Chinese authorities set up a hotline for foreign nationals and laid out measures discouraging businesses and rental houses in Guangzhou from refusing people based on race or nationality. Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian claimed that the country has "zero tolerance" for discrimination.
According to the BBC in 2020, many people in China have expressed solidarity for the Black Lives Matter movement. The George Floyd protests have reportedly sparked conversations about race that would have not otherwise occurred in the country, including treatment of China's own ethnic minorities. During the Chinese New Year Festival/Lunar New Year festival on 13 February 2021, Chinese actors put on blackface, they were half naked and they were holding spears, the Chinese Foreign minister denied that the performance there was racist instead he said it's respect despite that Blackface is a racist performance during and after Black Lives Matter protest in 2020.
It has been reported since 2008 that many Africans have experienced racism in Hong Kong such as being subject to humiliating police searches on the street and getting blocked from bars and clubs.
Discrimination against South AsiansEdit
There have been reports of widespread discrimination in Hong Kong against South Asian minorities regarding housing, employment, public services, and checks by the police. A 2001 survey found that 82% of ethnic minority respondents said they had suffered discrimination from shops, markets, and restaurants in Hong Kong. A 2020 survey found that more than 90% of ethnic minority respondents experienced some form of housing discrimination. Foreign domestic workers, mostly South Asians, have been at risk of forced labor, subpar accommodation, and verbal, physical, or sexual abuse by employers. A 2016 survey from Justice Centre Hong Kong suggested that 17% of migrant domestic workers were engaged in forced labor, while 94.6% showed signs of exploitation.
Filipina women in Hong Kong are often reportedly stereotyped as promiscuous, disrespectful, and lacking self-control. Reports of racist abuse from Hong Kong fans towards their Filipino counterparts at a 2013 football game came to light, after an increased negative image of the Philippines from the 2010 Manila hostage crisis. In 2014, an insurance ad, as well as a school textbook, drew some controversy for alleged racial stereotyping of Filipina maids.
Some Pakistanis in 2013 reported of banks barring them from opening accounts because they came from a 'terrorist country', as well as locals next to them covering their mouths thinking they smell, finding their beard ugly, or stereotyping them as claiming welfare benefits fraudulently. A 2014 survey of Pakistani and Nepalese construction workers in Hong Kong found that discrimination and harassment from local colleagues led to perceived mental stress, physical ill health, and reduced productivity.
Attitudes towards white peopleEdit
The Los Angeles Times and Vice Media alleged a hiring preference for white English teachers in China over other groups. In 2014, a Media Diversified article by a former English teacher in Ningbo alleged the English teaching industry was responsible for "painting the image of ‘good English’ as a domain reserved for white people" and highlighted the need for a more diverse staff in the industry.
International Responses to China's Policies for Ethnic MinoritiesEdit
In terms of international responses to China’s policies for Tibetans, Uighurs and Mongols in the Tibet Autonomous Region, the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region and the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region respectively, while many outside of Mongolia are familiar with China’s human rights abuses against the Uighurs and Tibetans, few are familiar with the plight of the Mongols. An international petition titled “Save Education in Inner Mongolia” has so far received less than 21,000 signatures. Former U.S. President Trump signed the Uighur Human Rights Policy Act of 2020 into law, and the Tibetan Policy and Support Act of 2019 has passed the House of Representatives. The Southern Mongolian Congress, an Inner Mongolian activist group based out of Japan, has since written an open letter asking the U.S. Congress to do the same for the Mongols.
Much of the world has condemned China’s detention of Uighurs. In January 2021, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared that China is committing crimes against humanity and genocide against Uighurs, making the U.S. the first country to apply those terms to the Chinese government’s abuses. Current U.S. President Joe Biden used the term genocide to refer to China’s abuses while campaigning, and his secretary of state, namely Antony Blinken, affirmed Pompeo’s declaration.
Due to China’s rise, Japan is typically wary of angering China, which is its largest trading partner. Tokyo is a close ally of Washington. It didn’t, however, join the U.S. and several other nations in March 2021 in imposing sanctions on China over its repression of its mostly Muslim Uighur majority. In April 2021, however, Japanese Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi, during a 90-minute phone call with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, called on his Chinese counterpart to take action to improve human-rights conditions for Uighurs. This unusually strong message from Tokyo came shortly before Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga traveled to the U.S. for a summit with President Biden on April 16. South Korea, diplomatically squeezed between its close ally that is the U.S. and its economic trading partner that is China, has remained quiet on Xinjiang.
According to historian Frank Dikötter,
A common historical response to serious threats directed towards a symbolic universe is "nihilation", or the conceptual liquidation of everything inconsistent with official doctrine. Foreigners were labelled "barbarians" or "devils", to be conceptually eliminated. The official rhetoric reduced the Westerner to a devil, a ghost, an evil and unreal goblin hovering on the border of humanity. Many texts of the first half of the nineteenth century referred to the English as "foreign devils" (yangguizi), "devil slaves" (guinu), "barbarian devils" (fangui), "island barbarians" (daoyi), "blue-eyed barbarian slaves" (biyan yinu), or "red-haired barbarians" (hongmaofan).
Graphic pejoratives about race and ethnicityEdit
Chinese orthography provides opportunities to write ethnic insults logographically; this is known as "graphic pejoratives". This originated in the fact that Chinese characters used to transcribe the names of non-Chinese peoples were graphically-pejorative ethnic slurs, where the insult was not the Chinese word but the character used to write it. The sinologist Endymion Wilkinson says,
At the same time as finding characters to fit the sounds of a foreign word or name it is also possible to choose ones with a particular meaning, in the case of non-Han peoples and foreigners, usually a pejorative meaning. It was the practice, for example, to choose characters with an animal or reptile signific for southern non-Han peoples, and many northern peoples were given characters for their names with the dog or leather hides signific. In origin this practice may have derived from the animal totems or tribal emblems typical of these peoples. This is not to deny that in later Chinese history such graphic pejoratives fitted neatly with Han convictions of the superiority of their own culture as compared to the uncultivated, hence animal-like, savages and barbarians.
List of ethnic slurs in ChineseEdit
- 鬼子 (guǐzi) – "Guizi", devils, refers to foreigners
- 日本鬼子 (rìběn guǐzi ) – literally "Japanese devil", used to refer to Japanese , can be translated as Jap . In 2010 Japanese internet users on 2channel created the fictional moe character Hinomoto Oniko (日本鬼子) which refers to the ethnic term, with Hinomoto Oniko being the Japanese kun'yomi reading of the Han characters "日本鬼子".
- 二鬼子 (èr guǐzi ) – literally "second devil", used to refer to Korean soldiers who were a part of the Japanese army during the Sino-Japanese war in World War II.
- Xiao Riben (小日本 Small Japanese)
- 鬼佬 – Gweilo, literally "ghostly man" (directed at Europeans)
- 黑鬼 (hei guǐ)/(hak gwei) – "Black devil" (directed at Africans).
- 阿三 (A Sae) or 紅頭阿三 (Ghondeu Asae) - Originally a Shanghainese term used against Indians, it is also used in Mandarin.
- chán-tóu (纏頭; turban heads) – used during the Republican period against Uyghurs[page needed][page needed]
- nǎozǐ jiǎndān (腦子簡單; simple-minded) – also used during the Republican period against Uyghurs[page needed]
- Erzhuanzi (二轉子) – ethnically mixed The term was said by European explorers in the 19th century to refer to a people descended from Chinese, Taghliks, and Mongols living in the area from Ku-ch'eng-tze to Barköl in Xinjiang.
- Gaoli bangzi (高麗棒子 Korean Stick) - Used against Koreans, both North Koreans and South Koreans.
- Demographics of the People's Republic of China
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