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Various Commenters #racist #sexist supchina.com

China’s Plan To Relax Immigration Rules Spurs All Sorts Of Hateful Comments From Nationalistic Chinese

As the Beijinger pointed out, the new rules won’t “exactly open the floodgates” to immigrants. But regardless of the actual impact of the move, the news ignited a firestorm of angry posts on social media, providing an outlet for the crudest racist and xenophobic sentiments.

“I don’t wanna see China becoming a country like America in hundreds of years, a place where people of different colors live together. I hope that China’s territory only welcomes pure Chinese people to reside. We Huaxia people share a strong sense of patriotism. When one is in trouble, others feel obligated to help out,” a Weibo user wrote (in Chinese), adding that if the labor force is seriously depleted, China should completely abandon its family planning policies to boost its birth rate instead of easing its immigration restrictions.

The widespread xenophobia on the Chinese internet didn’t come out of nowhere. As a homogeneous country that thrives on a strong and sometimes aggressive sense of national identity, China, on the policy level, is traditionally hostile to outside influences and unwelcoming to immigrants. Even under the proposed rules, China offers no path to citizenship. In practice, the main benefit that comes with Chinese green cards is a prolonged residence period compared to work visas.

In a Weibo post (in Chinese) that’s basically a rant about “foreign trash” (洋垃圾 Yánglājī), a derogatory term used by Chinese people to describe who they think are barbarian expats, a person wrote, “If we really want to attract top-level extraordinary talent from other countries, why are we lowering our standards?”

The backlash was steeped in long-standing anxieties caused by what many Chinese see as preferential treatment for foreigners in China, especially international students. Last July, Shandong University came under fire over a study buddy program that paired foreign students with local students of the opposite sex. The scandal was so severe that it forced the Ministry of Education to clarify its stance, saying that Chinese students and overseas students studying in China should be treated nearly equally with minor differences.

The news, coupled with the outrage it stoked, also amplified a specific form of hatred toward black people living in China. One of the most outrageously racist comments on Weibo reads (in Chinese), “I’m strongly against introducing black people to our country. It scares me thinking about our offspring being mixed with black.”

In trying to absolve themselves from accusations of racism, many of those who wrote hateful messages about black people stressed that by no means were they racists. “Black people as a population group are lazy and unhygienic. Having them in China is bound to cause myriad problems. It’s not racist for me to say that because it’s a fact,” a Weibo user commented.

On the video-streaming platform Bilibili, someone shared a video (in Chinese) filmed by a young black man named Shawn. In the clip, the man, who lived in China for 11 years, tries to offer his personal counter-narrative in fluent Chinese. He says:

“I grew up watching Xiyangyang (喜羊羊 Xǐyángyáng). I eat Chinese food. I speak Chinese. Every step I make is on Chinese streets. I’m no different from you except my face. But many people on the internet told me I didn’t deserve to be here. Some even called me the n-word. This was probably just a joke to them, but it profoundly upset me.”

Since being posted on March 2, the video has been flooded with negative comments and straight-up racial slurs. “Black nigga go back to your country,” a typical comment reads. As of March 5, the clip has attracted almost 200,000 views and more than 6,300 comments, most of which are blatantly racist.

To make things worse, a litany of misogynists who feared that foreign males would “steal” Chinese women from them found a sneaky way to insert their agenda into the discourse. Gathering around the hashtag #中国女孩, they constructed an egocentric campaign where they made overly sentimental promises to protect Chinese women from what they saw as “intruders.” One wrote (in Chinese), “Don’t panic, Chinese girls. You will be protected by us. We are not dead yet.” Adopting the language of racists, another person wrote, “I’m probably not the best man in this world. But I will not allow those black stuff to touch our Chinese girls at all costs.”

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Authors' friends #racist #fundie supchina.com

Nationalism Ruined My Chinese Friendships

As it turns out, Mingjun came from a military family — a fact I was unaware of. In the past few years, some of her family members had been dispatched to Xinjiang to help maintain the region’s security. “Many people had died,” she said, referring to the Han Chinese victims of the 2009 Urumqi riots as well as subsequent attacks in 2014. She said the police patrolled the streets 24/7, and anyone with a slightly higher nose than a typical Han Chinese would be stopped for inspection.

“Isn’t that targeting the entire ethnicity?” I retorted.

“Mei ban fa!” She exclaimed. There’s just no other way.

“But see, that’s exactly why the West has been critical,” I said. “They come from a human rights perspective, and these innocent people have been deprived of their basic human rights. They’re humans, too, you know.”

“Yes, they’re humans, but what about the bigger population beyond the region? What about people of the entire country? Who’s accounting for their security?” At this point, Mingjun had become very agitated. To ease the tension, others around the table started agreeing with whatever she said in order to calm her down.

*

The first time they ganged up on me was over the issue of U.S. deployment of THAAD in South Korea. China reacted strongly, seeing it as a threat to its national security. To put pressure on South Korea, the Chinese government orchestrated a series of boycotts against Korean businesses in China, including retail giant Lotte. Some Lotte stores were reportedly ransacked by nationalistic Chinese citizens. In our WeChat group, I expressed frustration with this tactic, calling it 土豪外交 (tǔháo wàijiāo) — “new-money diplomacy.”

One person responded immediately. “You Americans aren’t any better!” he said. “How long has the world endured America’s hegemony?” My response to that was, just because America did similar things doesn’t make it right. Lots of countries have corrupt leaders. Just because countries A, B, and C all have them doesn’t make the problem go away. He saw my point.

The second person, whom I’ll call Tang, thought I was gulled by media reports. According to him, there really weren’t that many boycotts. To prove his point, he contacted a travel agent while we were talking, asking her if recent trips to Korea had been cancelled. She said no. “See? Rumors can be easily dismissed. It’s the media that hypes things up,” Tang said. He also thought the nationalistic behaviors were among the few and didn’t represent the majority.

I responded by saying that one travel agency could hardly represent the whole picture, and that many media reports were indeed based on facts. Whether the boycotts were overwhelming or not, I said, the behavior should still be called into question.

As for the level of nationalism, many others weighed in. Some believed it was overwhelming, an act of group instinct that is often evident among the Chinese. One person pointed out that under China’s current education and propaganda systems, nationalism was inevitable.

*

On August 4, 2018, during a soccer game between Shanghai Shenhua and Changchun Yatai in China’s top league, a fight broke out between two players. Demba Ba, a French-born Senegalese player who signed a lease with Shanghai Shenhua three years earlier, accused Zhāng Lì 张力, a Chinese player from the opposing team, of hurling racist insults at him. According to Ba, Zhang kept shouting “You black!” at him, which spurred his immediate reaction. The dispute was handed over to the Chinese Football Association, and Zhang was punished for “disturbing regular orders of the game.” No word of racism was mentioned in the verdict.

In our WeChat group, discussions broke out over the issue of racism. Tang led the discussion. He said the West had a history of racism against blacks, but the Chinese simply weren’t racist.

I gaped. Just six months earlier, an Africa skit during the Chinese New Year Gala on CCTV had featured blackface and equated Africans with monkeys. A few years back, a laundry detergent commercial had featured a black man who was fed the detergent and pushed into a washing machine by a Chinese woman. When he came out, he was a light-skinned Asian. I brought up these two examples to support my counterargument.

“Fine,” Tang replied with a face palm. “Maybe there are racist Chinese, but I’m not one of them.”

“The point is not to judge,” I continued, “but to reflect on our cultural psyche and see how we can do better.”

For a moment, no one said anything, and I dropped my phone to carry on with my life, leaving WeChat on mute. Then Tang came back. “Black soccer players have been paid very well in China. For many Chinese, we just find their looks interesting, that’s all…And maybe this had nothing to do with racism at all. Maybe it was a cover for a foul.”

During that disputed game, before Ba and Zhang went after each other, Ba was fighting for the ball with another Chinese player on the opposing team, and the latter fell to the ground after the two collided in the air. That was when Zhang came to his teammate’s defense, allegedly calling Ba “You black.” Tang was referring to the collision before the conflict broke out.

Several others agreed with Tang. “The blacks in the league have a history of doing that,” one person said. “They commit nasty fouls.”

*

On October 1, as China celebrated the 70th anniversary of the PRC, my WeChat moments were filled with patriotic sentiment. Many of my classmates posted pictures from the awe-inspiring military parade on Tiananmen Square. “The Republic has walked past 70 tremendous years, and we’ve come a long way. Proud of you, my dear motherland!” one person remarked. While the parade was being aired on state-owned television, our WeChat group was also filled with festive messages. Everyone weighed in on the spectacle: the uniforms, the weaponry, the female soldiers, President Xi’s speech his makeup…

Amid this chatter, one person in our group commented on a recent experience on Twitter. Despite the social media platform being blocked in China, she often climbs the great firewall with the help of a VPN. On Twitter, she said she had been fed outrageous messages by Chinese dissidents living overseas. On this special occasion, she said, they were ready to make trouble, their attacks on China fiercer than ever.

“Why is that?” Tang responded. “Why are these yellow-skinned, Chinese-speaking, highly educated people so bent on demonizing their home country?”

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Chinese regulators #fundie supchina.com

Bilibili appears to have started censoring gay content featuring kissing scenes

Bilibili, China’s leading video-streaming website, never explicitly branded itself as a space for gay content. But since its launch in 2009, the platform has been a boon to the Chinese gay community and people who enjoy watching gay-themed shows or fan art because of its relatively open-minded attitude toward sexuality compared with that of other streaming services in China.

However, recently, a growing number of Bilibili users reported that some videos uploaded by them had been gradually taken offline for featuring same-sex romantic content like kissing scenes.

The ongoing purge came to the public’s attention thanks to a Weibo post (in Chinese) by @????????, who claimed that her videos about the Norwegian teen drama SKAM, which contains several gay storylines, were flagged as “inappropriate content” and were forcibly removed from the platform. Confused about the definition of “inappropriate content,” the user later contacted the Bilibili staff and was told that the site would no longer host “gay content with visuals that include kissing, or go beyond kissing.”

The post sparked heated discussions among Bilibili users, who found the site’s response self-contradictory. On the one hand, Bilibili wanted to make it clear that it took no issue with gay content in general and that the clampdown was not a form of discrimination against the gay community. But on the other hand, many users discovered that romantic content featuring male-female pairings was not targeted. “Apparently, according to Bilibili’s rules, straight people are entitled to do whatever they want, whereas gay people can only have platonic relationships,” one Weibo user wrote (in Chinese).

For a long time, Bilibili differentiated itself from other major streaming sites such as Tudou and Youku by providing a space for a variety of subculture groups to thrive. This constitutes a big portion of its appeal to young internet users in China, who seem to be more liberal in terms of sexuality. But since last year, Bilibili has come under closer scrutiny by internet regulators in China. In the summer of 2018, the site was taken off a number of Android app stores after being criticized by state-owned television for inappropriate and vulgar content. Amid the clampdown, Bilibili vowed to conduct “deep self-review and reflection,” which, in the eyes of its users, was a gesture of bowing to the pressures exerted on it by the government’s growing control over online content.

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Unknown CPC officials #fundie supchina.com

Death sentence for Canadian. Poland to suffer next?

Robert Lloyd Schellenberg, a Canadian, was given the death sentence for drug trafficking charges on Monday at a court in Dalian — Beijing’s latest act of retaliation against Canada for the arrest of Huawei CFO Mèng Wanzhou.

AFP reports that “his previous 15-year prison sentence was deemed too lenient, a ruling likely to deepen a diplomatic rift between Ottawa and Beijing.”

Globe and Mail correspondent Mark MacKinnon says that this would be “the first Canadian or American ever executed by the People’s Republic.”

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau this morning told reporters, per CBC:

It is of extreme concern to us as a government, as it should be to all our international friends and allies, that China has chosen to begin to arbitrarily apply [the] death penalty…as in this case facing a Canadian.

A warning for Poland: In related news, nationalistic rag the Global Times reacted to the arrest of a Huawei manager for espionage in Poland, saying (in Chinese) that Warsaw should “pay…a price”:

The whole world is clear that Poland has acted an accomplice to the United States, so we should make Poland suffer a bit (???????? ràng ta chi dian kutóu), and not worry what Western public opinion thinks.

Poland and Polish citizens in China should take this threat seriously — the Global Times has form. On December 12, after the arrest of Meng Wanzhou, the Global Times published a video invective narrated by the paper’s editor, vowing that “China will take revenge if Canada does not restore Meng Wanzhou’s freedom.” As that video was being shot and uploaded, news of the detention of Canadians Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor was breaking.

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Unknown Chinese regulators #fundie supchina.com

And then they came for man earrings

For many Chinese people, man earrings are a mainstream fashion, no longer a novel object or a taboo. Earrings, after all, are just accessories that have no gender. But ultra-conservatives at the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film, and Television of the People’s Republic of China (SAPPRFT), China’s top media regulator, certainly don’t see it this way.

Regarding itself as a defender of the core values of the Party and China’s traditional culture, where toxic masculinity and gendered norms ultimately rule, SAPPRFT appeared to take issue with man earrings recently as some people noticed that the earlobes of some male celebrities are blurred on television.

It seems that a male earring ban has been implemented. Chances are TV stations were informed with such short notice that they did not have time to ask those men to take off their earrings when filming. Blurring out their ears, which seems extremely weird, as this video-editing technique is usually used for censoring private parts like genitals, was the only option left for TV producers to avoid breaking the new rules.

Given SAPPRFT’s past history of introducing arbitrary policies without giving any explanation, it’s highly unlikely that it will reveal the real intentions behind the man earring ban. Theories trying to decipher the authorities’ motives abound on the Chinese internet. Some people speculate that SAPPRFT considers man earrings an affront to national masculinity, which stands at the core of the regressive gender culture in China, where men are expected to manifest manhood in every aspect of their lives, including how they dress themselves. Others think the root of the problem is SAPPRFT’s antiquated taste in men’s fashion.

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unknown hotel staffers #racist supchina.com

‘Not Allowed To Receive African Guests’: Discrimination At Guangzhou Hotels

Juliet Hatanga arrived at the Tokai Hotel ???? in Guangzhou’s Xiaobei ?? neighborhood at around 5 p.m. on July 20. The Ugandan national had traveled to the city from neighboring Foshan and was planning to spend “four or five” nights at the hotel, according to a Ugandan community leader in Guangzhou, who asked to remain anonymous.

Unfortunately, when trying to check in at the hotel, Hatanga was informed by staff at the front desk that Ugandan nationals were no longer allowed to stay in the area’s hotels.

Hatanga — who works as a principal magistrate in her home country — contacted staff at the Uganda Consulate General in Guangzhou, who in turn put her in touch with locally based Ugandan community leaders.

“I picked her up and took her to Starbucks for a coffee and told her to calm down,” one Ugandan community leader, who asked to remain anonymous, told me. “I then called the consul general [of Uganda] and I briefed him on what was happening.”

Hatanga was eventually able to check in to a hotel in Tianhe ??, a Guangzhou district located roughly 10 minutes from Xiaobei.

The rejection of Hatanga’s reservation is being linked by Ugandan community leaders to notices that were posted at numerous hotels and serviced apartments in Yuexiu District ??? in early July. The notifications, while all worded differently, stated that the hotels were not allowed to receive guests from African countries, usually accompanied by apologies “for the inconvenience.”

image

One notice, posted by Waifiden Apartments ??????? and dated July 6, states the building “will not receive foreign guests from all African countries,” as seen in the image below.

image

A receptionist at the Tokai Hotel, when visited by reporters on July 29, said that guests from Nigeria and Uganda had been turned away in previous weeks at the request of the police. The hotel staffer assured us that the ban on African guests had been lifted and that “everything is back to normal.”

This, at least, seemed true enough. I visited several other hotels in the area, including Zhong Hai Hotel ???? on Huanshi Zhong Lu ???? and Donfranc Hotel ????? on Luhu Gongyuan ????, and all were now accepting African guests.

But who had ordered the posting of the original notices?

Authorities at the Yuexiu Public Security Bureau told us that no warnings were issued to hotels in the district in regards to African guests. They continued to state that any actions taken against citizens of African nations by Yuexiu hotels were done without the involvement of the bureau.

According to Uganda’s Sunday Monitor newspaper, the situation in Guangzhou has worsened for Ugandans due to “many suspects involved in crime, especially drug trafficking, being found to be holding Ugandan passports.” (The story goes on to state that many foreigners arrested carrying a Ugandan passport are actually Nigerian citizens.)

The Monitor report also claims that many restaurants specializing in African cuisine have been forced to cease operations at the behest of Chinese authorities.

In response to the reports, the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the Republic of Uganda issued a statement denying that hotels were instructed by authorities to reject Ugandans and Nigerians, according to Uganda’s New Vision newspaper.

“The situation that some Africans including Ugandans were refused to check into budget hotels in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China was purely resulted from the self-made decisions of isolated hotels,” reads the statement, as published by New Vision on July 28. “Local government has instructed the involved hotels to stop the improper practices immediately and gave grave criticisms and education to these hotels. At present, there is no hotel in Guangzhou which refuses to accommodate Africans.”

The release goes on to note that officials with the Guangdong government met with the consul generals of both Uganda and Nigeria and that steps have been taken to ensure similar problems do not occur in the future.

When contacted for comment, a staffer at the Uganda Consulate General in Guangzhou said that no one was available to speak on the issue and directed us to the statement issued by the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the Republic of Uganda. Staff at the Consulate General of Nigeria in Guangzhou denied any knowledge of Nigerian citizens being denied accommodation in Guangzhou.

Xiaobei is an area in Guangzhou’s Yuexiu District that is often referred to as “Little Africa” due to the large number of African expats, traders, and travelers that live and work in the neighborhood.

According to statistics released in January by the city’s police bureau, Guangzhou is home to 15,000 Africans — a 25 percent drop from 2009. Many believe this number to be on the low side, though, as it fails to include illegal immigrants and those who overstay their visa, according to Xinhua.