Chinese citizens are refused to be accommodated in hotels, they are not allowed in restaurants, shunned by public transport, and mocking memes about the coronavirus appear on the web. How the epidemic of fear of the disease turned into sinophobia.
Sinophobia is a hostile attitude, hostility towards China, the Chinese and everything related to their culture. Mostly the citizens of this country living outside it suffer from it.
The causes of sinophobia include historical resentment, fear of economic competition, and racism. Fear of all Chinese also comes from past ethnic trends and, as it is now, due to coronavirus.
Sinophobia in action
Hospitality. Due to concerns about COVID-19, some hostels in Belarusian Minsk do not want to host Chinese citizens.
As the administrator of one of the hotels told Sputnik, “others do not want to be settled with the Chinese.” “People are afraid,” the girl said.
The Ministry of Sports and Tourism of Belarus explained that there were no official statements and recommendations in this regard. The department emphasized that the country did not close the border in connection with the coronavirus, and clarified that at the entrance of tourists, sanitary and epidemiological services were checked.
Based on media reports, similar examples of sinophobia are also found, for example, in the Russian city of Kazan:
"Dear Chinese, who flew from their native land! We are worried about the health of our visitors, so the entrance to the hostel is strictly forbidden for you. This is necessary to prevent the appearance of coronavirus among the guests of our hostel. We apologize for the inconvenience."
As you might know, the largest outbreak of coronavirus in Europe has embraced Italy, taking the lives of 12 people.
Anxiety in the country is growing. In a number of Italian cities various bans began to appear for citizens of China, as BBC wrote.
So, one of the bars, located next to the Trevi Fountain, posted a notice banning Chinese customers.
A sign invite those arriving from China forbidden to enter was posted this morning in a bar near Trevi Fountain, Rome. "Due to international security regulations, all people from China are not allowed to enter this place. We apologize for the problem." #coronavirus phobia. pic.twitter.com/ICGdXV25s8— Mirko Milito (@mirkomilito) January 31, 2020
A music school in Rome recommended students from East Asia not attend classes because of racism, and four governors of northern Italian regions urged children who had recently been to China to not attend school for two weeks.
Such incidents have been criticized by the Italian authorities.
Bad joke. After a trip to the hairdresser, Canadian reporter Peter Akman posted a post on his Twitter, attaching to him a photo of his barber - a man of Asian appearance with a medical mask on his face, NextShark writes.
A spokesperson for Bell Media confirms that Peter Akman, one of the presenters of CTV's investigative news show W5, is no longer with the company. He tweeted this four days ago. pic.twitter.com/DEtb1ONb9I— Sean Craig (@sdbcraig) January 30, 2020
Coronavirus on the flag of China. In a January 27 issue of the Danish Jyllands-Posten, a cartoon was published showing viral particles instead of stars on the Chinese flag.
The Chinese Embassy demanded an apology, saying the publication offended China and the feelings of its citizens. In turn, the editor of the newspaper, Jacob Nybroe, commented on TV2 that he saw no reason to apologize because the image was not created to offend the Chinese.
However, not everyone refuses to admit their mistakes. The French newspaper Le Courier Picard, which in January published Alerte jaune (Yellow Alarm) and Le péril jaune? (Yellow danger?), accompanied by the image of a Chinese woman in a protective mask, apologized.
The outlet said the editorial board was not going to use some of the "worst Asian stereotypes."
Several stories about aggressive behavior against people of Asian appearance due to a coronavirus are reported by CNN.
For example, in New York a man attacked a woman who wore a face mask, calling her "sick ... (obscene language, - ed.)".
Or in the Los Angeles subway, a passenger shouted that the Chinese were “dirty people,” and said that “all kinds of diseases that ever appeared came from China.”
And, unfortunately, there are many similar cases in other countries. By the way, in Singapore and Malaysia, hundreds of thousands of people signed online petitions calling for a complete ban on entry for Chinese citizens, and in Japan, some even call them "bioterrorists."
Given that almost everyone has been talking about coronavirus for almost two months now, this topic has already turned into a new platform for memes.
So, despite the assurances of the World Health Organization that because of a letter or a parcel from China it is impossible to become infected with a coronavirus, there are more than enough playful images in this regard.
In view of all the events described above, the Chinese living in France launched the flashmob #JeNeSuisPasUnVirus, designed to show that the appearance does not say anything about the person and his state of health.
Under this hashtag, people publish stories about how they managed to deal with sinophobia.
One user, for example, tells how a woman in an elevator panicked at an Asian-looking child who accidentally coughed.
A woman buried in her phone had a panic-stricken look on her face as soon as an East Asian kid coughed in a lift. She kept glancing over at the boy again and again, until we arrived at her floor. Was offensive to watch. #coronavirus #humanityfirst #JeNeSuisPasUnVirus— Dr. A.J Minai (@MinaiDr) February 24, 2020
Publications under the hashtag #JeNeSuisPasUnVirus emphasize that coronavirus does not justify racism, and urges to be more tolerant.