CCHH: China Centre For Health And Humanity


© Luis Fernando Bernardi Junqueira


Debate Theme 3: ‘China’s Covid’ and renewed racist attacks against East Asians


Many of the observations about China’s relationship with Covid-19 set out elsewhere in these pages have been used as the basis of racist attacks against East Asians, against restaurants, and against our students at UCL. The links made are profoundly ignorant and hark back to the racist attacks against Chinese restaurants of the mid twentieth century for supposedly cooking people’s cats and dogs.

While there is serious work to be done re-educating those who sustain the medical market for rare and wild animals, this is a wealthy and niche market. The everyday use of TCM and food as remedies is a powerful community practice and, when prescribed properly, much more effective than chicken soup. The larger circumstances that facilitate the emergence of zoonotic diseases are not peculiar to China, it is simply that urbanisation and development have been happening faster in China with larger populations involved. These are shared issues and responsibilities that require shared solutions.

The House of Commons motion calling for action against this racism was tabled last month: