CCHH: China Centre For Health And Humanity


© Luis Fernando Bernardi Junqueira


Questions for the debate, Theme 3

Questions gathered and devised by UCL CCHH graduate students

Racism against the background of Covid-19


Questions contributed by Dehang YUAN

Do you think Chinese diet is a key factor in racial discrimination?

...since most Chinese food is regarded as unhealthy food, or even as an origin of disease in western countries...

Do you have any idea of how to eliminate the stereotypes of Chinese food after Covid-19?

I find it is very hard to do so. If I were a person from another country, who did not understand Chinese diet culture, I would certainly regard Chinese diet as the source of plague; because it is Chinese diet that caused SARS and Covid-19.

Have you considered the causes of this race issue from a psychological perspective?

As far as I can see, most of the foreigners who hate China are looking for an outlet to vent their concerns about Covid-19; briefly, they regard the Chinese as scapegoats or doormats. Do you think it is possible that these foreigners do not actually hate Chinese, but actually hate those who brought the disease?

Have you learned what kind of people are more likely to be racist against Chinese people because of Covid-19?

As far as I know, not everyone places the blame on the Chinese. If yes, do they have any common characteristics?

Questions contributed by Yang LI

  • Is discrimination against Chinese in western society due to stereotypes? Or white supremacy racism?
  • Scientists have confirmed that the coronavirus started spreading in Italy last September. Why do most western media outlets selectively ignore the news?
  • What is the source of the sense of superiority of western society to Chinese? Orientalism or ignorance?

Questions contributed by Chaoqi YE

  • How can the public increase their awareness of racism promoted by social media or government policy?
  • How to fight against racism both online and offline?

Questions contributed by Qing LIU

  • As we can find from some western media, the concept of 'Chinese virus' and 'Chinese food threat theory' has been enormously exaggerated. Is it true that this kind of discrimination accompanied by superiority is essentially a kind of cultural hegemonism as proposed by Gramsci?  
  • Just as syphilis has been named after many countries, this kind of behaviour, which ignores the real origin of Covid-19 and violates the professionalism of news reporting and social responsibility, has made China bear the moral condemnation of public health. Is this stigmatization a manifestation of discourse power of some countries? Which countries will benefit from this kind of behaviour that makes China a victim? What benefits can be obtained?
  • The acculturation function of mass communication will cultivate the general stereotype about Oriental society by the masses in western society. In the post truth era when the internet is highly developed, how can individuals with strong cultural differences maintain a sober, rational and critical thinking in dealing with controversial events when facing the strong influence of opinion leaders and the situation of one-sided public opinion?
  • In the face of such public security crisis, why is it that human beings are more committed to finding scapegoats in the first place, rather than working together to face such disasters? Is there any sociological or psychological basis for it?