|World (excl. China)||-1|
Anti-Chinese sentiment or Sinophobia (from Late Latin Sinae "China" and Greek , phobos, "fear") is a sentiment against China, its people, overseas Chinese, or Chinese culture. It often targets Chinese minorities living outside of China and involves immigration, development of national identity in neighbouring countries, disparity of wealth, the past central tributary system, and majority-minority relations including its imperialist legacies. Its opposite is Sinophilia.
In 2013, Pew Research Center from the United States conducted a survey over Sinophobia, finding that China was viewed favorably in just half (19 of 38) of the nations surveyed, excluding China itself. Beijing's strongest supporters are in Asia, in Malaysia (81%) and Pakistan (81%); African nations of Kenya (78%), Senegal (77%) and Nigeria (76%); as well as Latin America, particularly in countries dependent on the Chinese market, such as Venezuela (71%), Brazil (65%) and Chile (62%). Anti-Chinese sentiment remains permanent, however, in the West and other Asian countries: only 28% of Germans and Italians and 37% of Americans view China favorably. It is in Japan where, more than anywhere else, antipathy toward China is striking. Just 5% of Japanese have a favorable opinion of China. At the same time, outright anti-China sentiment is limited. In 2013, in just 11 of the 38 nations surveyed is China actually viewed unfavorably by at least half of those surveyed. The strongest anti-China sentiment is in Japan, where 93% see the People's Republic in a negative light, including 48% of Japanese who have a very unfavorable view of China. There are also large majorities in Germany (64%), Italy (62%) and Israel (60%) who hold negative views of China. The rise in anti-China sentiment in Germany is particularly striking: from 33% disfavor in 2006 to 64% under the 2013 survey. And such unfavorable views exist despite Germany's success exporting to China.
Despite China's general appeal to the young, half or more of those people surveyed in 26 of 38 nations think that China acts unilaterally in international affairs, notably increasing tensions between China and other neighboring countries, excluding Russia, over territorial disputes. This concern about Beijing's failure to consider other countries' interests when making foreign policy decisions is particularly strong in the Asia-Pacific - in Japan (89%), South Korea (79%) and Australia (79%) - and in Europe - in Spain (85%), Italy (83%), France (83%) and Britain (82%). About half or more of those in the seven Middle Eastern nations surveyed also think China acts unilaterally. This includes 79% of Israelis, 71% of Jordanians and 68% of Turks. There is relatively less concern about this issue in the U.S. (60%). African nations - in particular strong majorities in Kenya (77%), Nigeria (70%), South Africa (67%) and Senegal (62%) - believe Beijing does consider their interests when making foreign policy decisions. Fifty-six per cent of Chinese think China should be more respected.
Anti-Chinese sentiment has long roots stretching back through a thousand years of history. Modern anti-Chinese sentiment only dates back to the 19th century. At the time of the British Empire's First Opium War (1839-1842) against Qing China, Lord Palmerston regarded the Chinese as uncivilized and suggested that the British must attack China to show up their superiority as well as to demonstrate what a "civilized" nation could do. The trend became commonly popular throughout the Second Opium War (1856-1860), when repeated attacks against foreign traders in China inflamed anti-Chinese campaigns. With the defeat of China in both wars, and brutal behavior of Chinese towards foreigners, Lord Elgin upon his arrival in Peking in 1860 ordered the looting and burning of China's Summer Palace in vengeance, highlighting the deep Sinophobic sentiment existing in the West.
In 1882 the Chinese Exclusion Act further deepened deep Sinophobic sentiment in the U.S., which escalated to tensions. Chinese workers were forbidden and treated as second-class citizens. Meanwhile, during mid-19th century in Peru, Chinese had been enforced as slave workers and they were not allowed to have any positions in the society.
On the other hand, the Empire of Japan was also known for strong Sinophobia. After the violence in Nagasaki caused by Chinese sailors, it stemmed anti-Chinese sentiment in Japan and following Qing China's non-apology, it even strained further. After the end of the First Sino-Japanese War, Japan defeated China and soon acquired colonial possessions of Taiwan and Ryukyu Islands.
Throughout 1920s, Sinophobia was still common in Europe, notably in Britain. Chinese men had been a fixture of London's docks since the mid-eighteenth century, when they arrived as sailors working for the East India Company, importing tea and spices from the Far East. Conditions on those long voyages were so dreadful that many sailors decided to abscond and take their chances on the streets rather than face the return journey. Those who stayed generally settled around the bustling docks, running laundries and small lodging houses for other sailors or selling exotic Asian produce. By the 1880s, a small but recognizable Chinese community had developed in the Limehouse area, to the consternation of white native-born Londoners, fearful of racial mixing and an influx of cheap labor. The entire Chinese population of London was only in the low hundreds--in a city of roughly seven million--but nativist feelings ran high, as evidenced by the Aliens Act of 1905, a bundle of legislation that sought to restrict entry to poor and low-skilled foreign workers. Chinese also had to work as robbers to drug dealers.
At the time of World War II, both Nazi Germany and Japanese Empire started its long persecution against ethnic Chinese in each countries, as well as Japanese territorial control in mainland China. Anti-Chinese massacres like Nanking Massacre that would have been the remaining key reason for the issues remaining between China and Japan today.
During the Cold War, anti-Chinese sentiment became permanent in medias of the Western world as well as anti-communist countries, largely after the establishment the People's Republic of China. Throughout 1950s to 1980s, anti-Chinese sentiment was so deep in Korea, where the Korean War occurred and subsequent Chinese intervention against South Korea. Many Koreans claim China as perpetrator dividing two Koreas like today. In Burma, Thailand, India, Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines, the Chinese were often targeted for alleged link with the Chinese Government while Australia passed White Australia policy further banning immigrants from non-white, mostly Chinese, emigrating the country.
Even in the Soviet Union, anti-Chinese sentiment was so common due to differences between China and the USSR[clarification needed] that it nearly resulted in war outside border conflict. The "Chinese threat" described in Alexander Solzhenitsyn's letter prompted expressions of anti-Chinese sentiment in conservative Russian samizdat.
Since the 1990s, Chinese economic reform has made China a global power. Nonetheless, distrust of China and Chinese is attributable[by whom?] to backlash against the historical memory of Sinicization pursued by Imperial China and later by the Republic of China, and to backlash against modern policies of the Chinese government, which is permanent in many countries like India, Korea, Japan and Vietnam.
After World War II ended, the relationship between China and Japan gradually improved. However, since 2000, Japan has seen a gradual resurgence of anti-Chinese sentiments. Many Japanese believe that China is using the issue of the countries' checkered history, such as the Japanese history textbook controversies, many past war crimes committed by Japan's military, and official visits to the Yasukuni Shrine (at which a number of war criminals are enshrined), both as a diplomatic card and to make Japan a scapegoat in domestic politics. The Anti-Japanese Riots in Spring of 2005 also were a source of more anger towards China within the Japanese public. Anti-Chinese sentiments in Japan have been on a sharp rise since 2002. According to Pew Global Attitude Project (2008), unfavorable view of China was 84%, unfavorable view of Chinese people was 73%, the most Sinophobic perception from any other country in the world.
Until the arrival of Western imperialism in the 19th century, Korea had been part of the sinocentric East Asian regional order. In the early 2000s, a dispute over the history of Goguryo, which both Koreas and China claim as their own, caused tension between the two countries.
In 1931, while Korea was dominated by Imperial Japan, there was a dispute between Chinese and Korean farmers in Wanpaoshan, Manchuria. It was highly sensationalized in the Japanese and Korean press, and used as propaganda to increase anti-Chinese sentiment. It caused a series of anti-Chinese riots throughout Korea, starting in Incheon on July 3 and spreading rapidly to other cities. Chinese sources estimate that 146 people were killed, 546 wounded, and a considerable number of properties were destroyed. The worst riot occurred in Pyongyang on July 5. In this effect, the Japanese had a considerable influence on sinophobia in Korea.
Starting in October 1950, the People's Volunteer Army fought in the Korean War(1950-1953) on the side of North Korea against South Korean and United Nations troops. The participation of the PVA made the relations between South Korea and China hostile. Throughout the Cold War, there were no official relations between capitalist South Korea and communist China until August 24, 1992, when formal diplomatic relations were established between Seoul and Beijing.
Anti-Chinese sentiments in South Korea have been on a steady rise since 2002. According to the Pew Global Attitude Project, favorable view of China steadily declined from 66% in 2002 to 48% in 2008, while unfavorable view of China rose from 31% in 2002 to 49% in 2008. According to polls by the East Asia Institute, positive view of China's influence declined from 48.6% in 2005 to 38% in 2009, while negative view of Chinese influence rose from 46.7% in 2005 to 50% in 2008.
Relations further strained with the deployment of THAAD is South Korea in 2017, in which China started its boycott against Korea, making Koreans to develop anti-Chinese sentiment in South Korea over reports of economic retaliation by Beijing.
According to a poll released by the Institute for Peace and Unification Studies at Seoul National University in 2018, 46 percent of South Koreans find China as the most threatening country to inter-Korean peace (compared to 33 percent for North Korea), marking the first time China was seen as a bigger threat than North Korea since the survey began in 2007.
Although Hong Kong's sovereignty was transferred to China in 1997, only a small minority consider themselves exclusively and simply Chinese. According to a survey conducted by the University of Hong Kong in December 2014, 42.3% of respondents identified themselves as "Hong Kong citizens", versus only 17.8% who identified as "Chinese citizens", and 39.3% who chose a mixed identity (a Hong Kong Chinese or a Hong Konger living in China). The number of mainland Chinese visitors to Hong Kong has surged since the handover, reaching 28 million in 2011. The conspicuous consumption and rude behaviour of some mainlanders has upset many locals. In 2012, a group of Hong Kong residents published a newspaper advertisement depicting mainland visitors and immigrants as locusts. In February 2014, about 100 Hong Kongers harassed mainland tourists and shoppers during what they styled an "anti-locust" protest in Kowloon. In response, the Equal Opportunities Commission of Hong Kong proposed an extension of the territory's race-hate laws to cover mainlanders.
Inner Mongolia used to be part of Greater Mongolia, until Mongolia was absorbed into China at 17th century following the Qing conquest. For three centuries, Mongolia was marked with little interests even during the expansion of Russian Empire. With the Qing collapse, China attempted to retake Mongolia only to see its rule fallen with the Mongolian Revolution of 1921, overthrowing the Chinese rule; but it was proposed that Zhang Zuoling's domain (the Chinese "Three Eastern Provinces") take Outer Mongolia under its administration by the Bogda Khan and Bodo in 1922 after pro-Soviet Mongolian Communists seized control of Outer Mongolia. However, China failed to take Outer Mongolia (which would become modern Mongolia) but successfully maintained their presence in Inner Mongolia. For this reason, it has led to a strong anti-Chinese sentiment among the native Mongol population in Inner Mongolia which have rejected assimilation, which prompted Mongolian nationalists and Neo-Nazi groups to be hostile against China. One of the most renown unrest in modern China is the 2011 Inner Mongolia unrest, following the murder of two ethnic Mongolians in separate incidents. Mongolians traditionally hold very unfavorable views of China. The common stereotype is that China is trying to undermine Mongolian sovereignty in order to eventually make it part of China (the Republic of China has claimed Mongolia as part of its territory, see Outer Mongolia ). Fear and hatred of erliiz (Mongolian: , ['?r?i:t?s?], literally, double seeds), a derogatory term for people of mixed Han Chinese and Mongol ethnicity, is a common phenomena in Mongolian politics. Erliiz are seen as a Chinese plot of "genetic pollution" to chip away at Mongolian sovereignty, and allegations of Chinese ancestry are used as a political weapon in election campaigns - though not always with success. Several Neo-Nazi groups opposing foreign influence, especially China's, are present within Mongolia.
Due to historical reasons dating back to the de facto end of the Chinese Civil War, the relationship between the two majority ethnic Chinese and Mandarin Chinese-speaking regions has been tense due to the fact that the People's Republic of China has threatened repeatedly to invade if Taiwan were to declare independence, shedding the status quo of existing legally as the Republic of China and replacing a Chinese national identity with a distinctly Taiwanese identity. This creates strong divisions between mainland China and Taiwan and further strains the relationship between two nations.
Anti-Chinese sentiment in Taiwan also comes from the fact that many Taiwanese do not want to identify themselves with Chinese people from the mainland, and are against having closer ties with the Chinese mainland, like those in the Sunflower Student Movement. Many Taiwanese also believe they are more civilized than mainlanders, according to Peng Mingmin, a Taiwanese professor.
Massive land reform protests were held in Kazakhstan. Protesters were against land renting to Chinese. Other issues leading to rise of Sinophobia in Kazakhstan is also over the Xinjiang conflict and Kazakhstan hosting a significant number of Uyghur separatists.
Relationship between Tajikistan and China is very complicated in the past. During the 19th century, with the increasing riots within Xinjiang, Yaqub Beg, a Tajik adventurer, founded Kashgaria and declared its independence from Chinese rule, which was seen as the rebirth of Uyghur nationalism and Islamism in the region.
Resentment against China and Chinese also increased in Tajikistan recent years due to accusation of China's land grab from Tajikistan. In 2013, Tajik Popular Social-Democrat Party leader, Rakhmatillo Zoirov, claimed Chinese troops were entering to Tajikistan deeper than it got from land ceding.
Kyrgyzstan is traditionally non-aligned and somewhat positive of China. There are historical grievances, however, such as occupation by Qing China, ethnic cleansing. A Kyrgyz farmer claimed "We always run the risk of being colonized by the Chinese,", in fear of future being colonized by China. Meanwhile, same like majority Central Asian nations, Kyrgyz people mostly sympathize with Uyghur separatism in China, further complicated relations.
Since the conception of the PRC, there have been some ethnic tensions arising between the Han Chinese and Turkic Muslim Uyghurs. This manifested itself in the 1997 Ghulja incident, the bloody July 2009 Urumqi riots, and the 2014 Kunming attack. This has prompted China to increase their military presence and operate re-education camps to address security concerns.
Tibet has a complicated relations with China. Both are part of the Sino-Tibetan language family and share a long history. Tang dynasty and Tibetan Empire did enter into a military conflict and had a major effect on the rise of Sinophobia among Tibetans. In the 13th century, Tibet fell into the rule of Yuan dynasty but it soon broke out with the collapse of Yuan dynasty. Relationship between Tibet with China remains complicated until Tibet was invaded again by the Qing dynasty. Following the British expedition to Tibet at 1904, many Tibetans look back to it as an exercise of Tibetan self-defence and an act of independence from the Qing dynasty as the dynasty was falling apart. and has left a dark chapter in their modern relations. The Republic of China failed to reconquer Tibet but the later People's Republic of China retook Tibet and incorporated it as Tibet Autonomous Region within China. Despite 14th Dalai Lama and Mao Zedong had together signed Seventeen Point Agreement for the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet, China was accused for not honoring the treaty and led to 1959 Tibetan uprising which was totally suppressed by China and Dalai Lama escaped to India.
Tibetans once again rioted against Chinese rule twice, the 1987-89 unrest and 2008 unrest, where they directed their angers against Han and Hui Chinese. Both have been suppressed by China and China has increased their military presence in the region, despite self-immolations against China are still ongoing.
To counteract the city state's low birthrate, Singapore's government has been offering financial incentives and a liberal visa policy to attract immigrants. The policy has nearly doubled Singapore's population since 1990. Many of the newcomers are from China, although about half are from Southeast Asia. The immigrants are blamed for competing with the native-born Singaporeans for jobs and housing.
Due to race-based politics and Bumiputera policy, there had been several incidents of racial conflict between the Malays and Chinese before the 1969 riots. For example, in Penang, hostility between the races turned into violence during the centenary celebration of George Town in 1957 which resulted in several days of fighting and a number of deaths, and there were further disturbances in 1959 and 1964, as well as a riot in 1967 which originated as a protest against currency devaluation but turned into racial killings. In Singapore, the antagonism between the races led to the 1964 Race Riots which contributed to the expulsion of Singapore from Malaysia on 9 August 1965. The 13 May Incident probably the highest race riot happen in Malaysia with more than 143 or suggested 600 killed, mostly Chinese.
Although sharing the same culture and political ideology, due to a thousand years of Chinese rule in Northern Vietnam, and later a series of Sino-Vietnamese wars in the history between two nations and recent territory disputes in the Paracel and Spratly Islands, there are strong anti-Chinese sentiments among the Vietnamese population. Though current relations are peaceful, numerous wars fought between the two nations in the past, from the time of Early Lê Dynasty (10th century) to the Sino-Vietnamese War from 1979 to 1989. The conflict fueled discrimination against and consequent emigration by the country's ethnic Chinese population. From 1978 to 1979, some 450,000 ethnic Chinese left Vietnam by boat (mainly former South Vietnam citizens fleeing the Vietcong) as refugees or were expelled across the land border with China. These mass emigrations and deportations only stopped in 1989 following the i m?i reforms in Vietnam.
Anti-Chinese sentiments had spiked in 2007 after China formed an administration in the disputed islands, in 2009 when the Vietnamese government allowed the Chinese aluminium manufacturer Chinalco the rights to mine for bauxite in the Central Highlands, and when Vietnamese fishermen were detained by Chinese security forces while seeking refuge in the disputed territories. In 2011, following a spat in which a Chinese Marine Surveillance ship damaged a Vietnamese geologic survey ship off the coast of Vietnam, some Vietnamese travel agencies boycotted Chinese destinations or refused to serve customers with Chinese citizenship. Hundreds of people protested in front of the Chinese embassy in Hanoi and the Chinese consulate in Ho Chi Minh City against Chinese naval operations in the South China Sea before being dispersed by the police. In May 2014, mass anti-Chinese protests against China moving an oil platform into disputed waters escalated into riots in which many Chinese factories and workers were targeted. In 2018, thousands of people nationwide protested against a proposed law regarding Special Economic Zones that would give foreign investors 99 year leases on Vietnamese land, fearing that it would be dominated by Chinese investors.
According to journalist Daniel Groos, Sinophobia is omnipresent in modern Vietnam, where "from school kids to government officials, China-bashing is very much in vogue." According to Groos a majority of Vietnamese resent the import and usage of Chinese products, considering them distinctly low status.
During the late 1960s an estimated 425,000 ethnic Chinese lived in Cambodia. By 1984, as a result of the Khmer Rouge genocide and emigration, only about 61,400 Chinese remained in the country.
The hatred for Chinese was projected on the ethnic Chinese of Cambodia during 80s. A Vietnamese report had noted "In general, the attitude of young people and intellectuals is that they hate Cambodian-Chinese."
The Spanish introduced the first anti-Chinese laws in the Philippine archipelago. The Spanish massacred or expelled Chinese several times from Manila, and the Chinese responded by fleeing to the Sulu Sultanate and supporting the Moro Muslims in their war against the Spanish. The Chinese supplied the Moros with weapons and joined them in fighting the Spanish directly during the Spanish-Moro conflict.
The standoff in Spratly Islands and Scarborough Shoal between China and the Philippines contributes to anti-China sentiment among Filipinos. Campaigns to boycott Chinese products began in 2012. People protested in front of the Chinese Embassy and it had led the Chinese embassy to issue travel warning for its citizens to the Philippines for a year.
The Dutch introduced anti-Chinese laws in the Dutch East Indies. The Dutch colonialists started the first massacre of Chinese in the 1740 Batavia massacre in which tens of thousands died. The Java War (1741-43) followed shortly thereafter.
The asymmetrical economic position between ethnic Chinese Indonesians and indigenous Indonesians has incited anti-Chinese sentiment among the poorer majorities. During the Indonesian killings of 1965-66, in which more than 500,000 people died (mostly non-Chinese Indonesians), ethnic Chinese were killed and their properties looted and burned as a result of anti-Chinese racism on the excuse that Dipa "Amat" Aidit had brought the PKI closer to China. In the May 1998 riots of Indonesia following the fall of President Suharto, many ethnic Chinese were targeted by Indonesian rioters, resulting in a large number of rapes and looting. However, most of the deaths suffered when Chinese owned supermarkets were targeted for looting were not Chinese, but the Indonesian looters themselves, who were burnt to death by the hundreds when a fire broke out.
The infamous 1967 riots in Burma against Chinese community had sparked angers among Chinese, led to the arming of ethnic and political rebels by China against Burma. Later, China's double-faced policy in Myanmar's conflict, when it supports both the rebels and the Government's Tatmadaw, and it exploitation of natural resources has also hampered the Sino-Burmese relationship.
Historically, Thailand and previous Siam is and was seen as China-friendly country, owning by the fact China and Siam enjoyed a close relations, a large portion of Thai population have Chinese descent and strong cooperation. However, at the 20th century, Plaek Phibunsongkhram launched a massive Thaification, including oppression of Thailand's Chinese population and hampered Thai Chinese communities, banning teaching Chinese language, forced adopting Thai names. Plaek's obsession toward creating a pan-Thai nationalist agenda caused heavy resentment by Thai Chinese until he was removed at 1944. After that, Thai Chinese do not experience anti-Chinese incidents, although the Cold War almost inflamed hostility toward Chinese community in Thailand.
The relation between Bhutan and China has historically been tense and past events have led to anti-Chinese sentiment within the country. Notably the Chinese government's destruction of Tibetan Buddhist institutions in Tibet in 1959 led to a wave of anti-Chinese sentiment in the country. Similarly, the publishing of a controversial map in the book, A Brief History of China which illustrated a large portion of Bhutanese territory belonging to China and the statement released by China in 1960 which claimed the Bhutanese "form a united family in Tibet" and "they must once again be united and taught the communist doctrine" all led to hostile responses from Bhutan including the closing of its border, trade and all diplomatic contact with China. Bhutan and China have not established diplomatic relations.
Although there is a lot of favorable opinions about China because they helped to finish the civil war in Sri Lanka there are anti-Chinese sentiment among some people over Chinese investment in the country.
During the Sino-Indian War, the Chinese faced anti-national sentiment unleashed by the Indian National Congress-dominated government. Chinese businesses were investigated for links to the Chinese government and many people of Chinese origin were interned in prisons in North India. The Indian government passed the Defence of India Act in December 1962, permitting the "apprehension and detention in custody of any person [suspected] of being of hostile origin." The broad language of the act allowed for the arrest of any person simply for having a Chinese surname, a drop of Chinese blood, or a Chinese spouse. The Indian government incarcerated thousands of Chinese-Indians in an internment camp in Deoli, Rajasthan, where they were held for years without trial. The last internees were not released until 1967. Thousands more Chinese-Indians were forcibly deported or coerced to leave India. Nearly all internees had their properties sold off or looted. Even after their release, the Chinese Indians faced many restrictions in their freedom. They could not travel freely until the mid-1990s.
More recently India in conjunction with Tibet have called for a joint campaign to boycott Chinese goods due to border intrusion incidents. Similarly to the Philippines and Vietnam the call for the boycott of Chinese goods by India is related to the contested territorial disputes India has with China.
In 2000, Tongan noble Tu'ivakano of Nukunuku banned Chinese stores from his Nukunuku District in Tonga. This followed complaints from other shopkeepers regarding competition from local Chinese. In 2001, Tonga's Chinese community (a population of about three or four thousand people) was hit by a wave racist assaults. The Tongan government did not renew the work permits of more than 600 Chinese storekeepers, and has admitted the decision was in response to "widespread anger at the growing presence of the storekeepers".
In 2006, Honiara's Chinatown suffered damage when it was looted and burned by rioters following a contested election. Ethnic Chinese businessmen were falsely blamed for bribing members of the Solomon Islands' Parliament. The government of Taiwan was the one that supported the then current government of the Solomon Islands. The Chinese businessmen were mainly small traders from mainland China and had no interest in local politics.
In Russia's Siberia and the Russian Far East, there was a long-standing dispute over territory, which was resolved in 2004. Russia and China no longer have territorial disputes and China does not claim land in Russia; however, there is also a perceived fear of a demographic takeover by Chinese immigrants in sparsely populated Russian areas.
On July 4, 2015, a group of around 2,000 Turkish ultra-nationalists from the Grey Wolves linked to MHP protesting against China's fasting ban in Xinjiang mistakenly attacked South Korean tourists in Istanbul, which led to China issuing a travel warning to its citizens traveling to Turkey. A Uyghur employee at a Chinese restaurant was beaten by the Turkish Grey Wolves-linked protesters. Devlet Bahçeli, a leader from Turkey's MHP (Nationalist Movement Party), said that the attacks by MHP affiliated Turkish youth on South Korean tourists was "understandable", telling the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet that: "What feature differentiates a Korean from a Chinese? They see that they both have slanted eyes. How can they tell the difference?".
Although Sinophobia is not widely practiced in Syria, the Syrian opposition has accused China for supporting the Government of Bashar al-Assad as China has vetoed UN resolutions condemning Assad's war crimes; Syrian and Lebanese nationalists have burnt Chinese flag in response.
Like China's perception in other countries, China's large population, long history and size has been the subject of fear somewhat. China has figured in the Western imagination in a number of different ways as being a very large civilization existing for many centuries with a very large population; however the rise of the People's Republic of China after the Chinese Civil War has dramatically changed the perception of China from a relatively positive light to negative because of the fear of communism in the West, and repeated public accusations against China of human rights abuses.
Sinophobia became more common as China was becoming a major source of immigrants for the west (including the American West). Numerous Chinese immigrants to North America were attracted by wages offered by large railway companies in the late 19th century as the companies built the transcontinental railroads.
Sinophobic policies (such as the Chinese Exclusion Act, the Chinese Immigration Act of 1923, anti-Chinese zoning laws and restrictive covenants, the policies of Richard Seddon, and the White Australia policy) and pronouncements on the "yellow peril" were in evidence as late as the mid-20th century in the Australia, United States, Canada, and New Zealand.
Although historical relations between two were friendly and even Marco Polo paid a visit to China, during the Boxer Rebellion, Italy was part of Eight-Nation Alliance against the rebellion, thus this had stemmed anti-Chinese sentiment in Italy. Italian troops looted, burnt and stole a lot of Chinese goods to Italy, whom many are still being displayed in Italian museums.
In modern era, Sinophobia still exists in Italy. In 2007, an anti-Chinese unrest occurred when Italian residents of Milan and Rome had complained that, as Chinese neighbourhoods expand, Italian stores are being squeezed out by merchants who obtain licences for retail shops but then open up wholesale distribution operations for goods flooding in from China. In 2010, Italian town of Prato became increasingly anti-Chinese, accusing them for not obeying Italian law.
A recent increasing Sinophobic sentiment sparked in Venezuela in the 2010s as for the direct consequence of Venezuelan crisis, which China was accused for looting and exploiting Venezuelan natural resources and economic starvation in the country.
In 2016, Czechs and pro-Tibetan activists had defaced Chinese flag ahead of Xi Jinping's visit to the country, showing its strong resentment against Chinese growing influence and its oppression on Tibetans.
The Chinese population was active in political and social life in Australia. Community leaders protested against discriminatory legislation and attitudes, and despite the passing of the Immigration Restriction Act in 1901, Chinese communities around Australia participated in parades and celebrations of Australia's Federation and the visit of the Duke and Duchess of York.
Although the Chinese communities in Australia were generally peaceful and industrious, resentment flared up against them because of their different customs and traditions. In the mid-19th century, terms such as "dirty, disease ridden, [and] insect-like" were used in Australia and New Zealand to describe the Chinese.
A poll tax was passed in Victoria in 1855 to restrict Chinese immigration. New South Wales, Queensland, and Western Australia followed suit. Such legislation did not distinguish between naturalised, British citizens, Australian-born and Chinese-born individuals. The tax in Victoria and New South Wales was repealed in the 1860s,
In the 1870s and 1880s, the Growing trade union movement began a series of protests against foreign labour. Their arguments were that Asians and Chinese took jobs away from white men, worked for "substandard" wages, lowered working conditions and refused unionisation. Objections to these arguments came largely from wealthy land owners in rural areas. It was argued that without Asiatics to work in the tropical areas of the Northern Territory and Queensland, the area would have to be abandoned. Despite these objections to restricting immigration, between 1875 and 1888 all Australian colonies enacted legislation which excluded all further Chinese immigration. Asian immigrants already residing in the Australian colonies were not expelled and retained the same rights as their Anglo and Southern compatriots.
In 1888, following protests and strike actions, an inter-colonial conference agreed to reinstate and increase the severity of restrictions on Chinese immigration. This provided the basis for the 1901 Immigration Restriction Act and the seed for the White Australia Policy, which although relaxed over time, was not fully abandoned until the early 1970s.
Number of cases have been reported, related to Sinophobia in the country. Recently, on February 2013, a Chinese football team had reported about the abuses and racism they suffered on Australia Day.
There have been a spate of racist anti-Chinese graffiti and posters in universities across Melbourne and Sydney which host a large number of Chinese students. In July and August 2017, hate-filled posters were plastered around Monash University and University of Melbourne which said, in Mandarin, that Chinese students were not allowed to enter the premises, or else they would face deportation, while a "kill Chinese" graffiti, decorated with swastikas was found at University of Sydney. The Antipodean Resistance, a white supremacist group that identifies itself as pro-Nazi, claimed responsibility for the posters on Twitter. The group's website contains anti-Chinese slurs and Nazi imagery.
In 2016, Günther Oettinger, the former European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, called Chinese people derogatory names, including "sly dogs," in a speech to executives in Hamburg and had refused to apologize for several days.
Spain first issued anti-Chinese legislation when Limahong, a renown Chinese pirate, attacked Spanish settlements in the Philippines. One of his famous actions was a failed invasion of Manila in 1574, which he launched with the support of Chinese and Moro pirates. The Spanish conquistadors massacred the Chinese or expelled them from Manila several times, notably the autumn 1603 massacre of Chinese in Manila, and the reasons for this uprising remain unclear. Its motives range from the desire of the Chinese to dominate Manila, to their desire to abort the Spaniards' moves which seemed to lead to their elimination. The Spaniards quelled the rebellion and massacred around 20,000 Chinese.The Chinese responded by fleeing to the Sulu Sultanate and supporting the Moro Muslims in their war against the Spanish. The Chinese supplied the Moros with weapons and joined them in directly fighting against the Spanish during the Spanish-Moro conflict. Spain also upheld a plan to conquer China, but it never materialized.
In the modern era, anti-Chinese racism remains relevant in Spain. In 2014, the Spanish channel Telecinco's "Aida" programme featured a scene in which a bar owner adds "and no Chinese either" to a sign barring dogs from his establishment, leading to sheer criticisms from China.
Peru was a popular destination for Chinese immigrants at 19th century, mainly due to its vulnerability over slave market and subsequent needed for Peru over military and laborer workforce. However, relations between Chinese workers and Peruvian owners have been tense, due to mistreatments over Chinese laborers and anti-Chinese discrimination in Peru.
Due to the Chinese support for Chile throughout the War of the Pacific, relations between Peruvians and Chinese became increasingly tenser in the aftermath. After the war, armed indigenous peasants sacked and occupied haciendas of landed elite criollo "collaborationists" in the central Sierra - majority of them were of ethnic Chinese, while indigenous and mestizo Peruvians murdered Chinese shopkeepers in Lima; in response to Chinese coolies revolted and even joined the Chilean Army. Even in 20th century, memory of Chinese support for Chile was so deep that Manuel A. Odría, once dictator of Peru, issued a ban against Chinese immigration as a punishment for their betrayal. This caused a deep wound still relevant today in Peru.
In the 1850s, sizable numbers of Chinese immigrants came to British Columbia seeking gold; the region was known to them as Gold Mountain. Starting in 1858, Chinese "coolies" were brought to Canada to work in the mines and on the Canadian Pacific Railway. However, they were denied by law the rights of citizenship, including the right to vote, and in the 1880s, "head taxes" were implemented to curtail immigration from China. In 1907, a riot in Vancouver targeted Chinese and Japanese-owned businesses. In 1923, the federal government passed the Chinese Immigration Act, commonly known as the Exclusion Act, prohibiting further Chinese immigration except under "special circumstances". The Exclusion Act was repealed in 1947, the same year in which Chinese Canadians were given the right to vote. Restrictions would continue to exist on immigration from Asia until 1967, when all racial restrictions on immigration to Canada were repealed, and Canada adopted the current points based immigration system. On June 22, 2006, Prime Minister Stephen Harper offered an apology and compensation only for the head tax once paid by Chinese immigrants. Survivors or their spouses were paid approximately CAD$20,000 in compensation.
Sinophobia in Canada has been fueled by extreme real estate price distortion resulting from Chinese demand, forcing locals out of the market.
There is a growing Sinophobic sentiment in Brazil, largely due to the issue over economic and political manipulation from China over Brazil. Recently, Chinese have been accused for grabbing land in Brazil, involving on unclean political ties, further deepens Sinophobia in Brazil. Chinese investments in Brazil have been largely influenced by this negative impression.
The United Kingdom developed a strong Sinophobic sentiment dated back at 1800s when China and the British Empire fought for influence in Asia. It resulted with the First Opium War which Qing China suffered a tremendous defeat and forced to pay fee. Since then, due to strong anti-British sentiment in China, anti-Chinese sentiment grew in the U.K. as a response. Such negative impression on China was exported to the world mainly due to the British.
Today, negative impression over China continues to be an issue in the United Kingdom. The Chinese emigrants in Britain often issued themselves to be among the most discriminated people, and there is a lack of reporting over anti-Chinese discrimination in the U.K. as consequence, notably violence against Chinese Britons. Further, British Chinese even claimed they had been "ignored" from such discrimination.
In the 16th century, increasing sea trades between Europe to China had led Portuguese merchants to China, however Portuguese military ambitions for power and its fear of China's interventions and brutality had led to the growth of Sinophobia in Portugal. Galiote Pereira, a Portuguese Jesuit missionary who was imprisoned by Chinese authorities, claimed China's juridical treatment known as bastinado was so horrible as it hit on human flesh, becoming the source of fundamental anti-Chinese sentiment later; as well as brutality, cruelty of China and Chinese tyranny. With Ming China's brutal reactions on Portuguese merchants following the conquest of Malacca, Sinophobia became widespread in Portugal, and widely practiced until the First Opium War, which Qing China was forced to cede Macau for Portugal.
In France, anti-Chinese sentiment has become an issue, with recent poor treatments of Chinese minority in France like the killing of Chinese people in Paris, causing uproar among Chinese in France; joint alliance with India against China; Chinese unclean investments in France and accusation of land grabs from Chinese investors.
Anti-Chinese sentiment was first recorded in Mexico at 1880s. Similar to most Western countries at the time, Chinese immigration and its large business involvement has always been a fear for native Mexicans. Violence against Chinese occurred such as in Sonora, Baja California and Coahuila, the most notable was the Torreón massacre, although it was sometimes argued to be different than other Western nations.
Anti-Chinese sentiment grew in New Zealand at 19th century when the British Empire issued the Yellow Perils to embrace xenophobic sentiment against Chinese population and China, and it remains relevant today in New Zealand. It was begun with Chinese Immigration Acts at 1881, limiting Chinese from emigrating to New Zealand and excluding Chinese from major jobs, to even anti-Chinese organizations. Today, mostly anti-Chinese sentiment in New Zealand is about the labor issue.
K. Emma Ng reported that "One in two New Zealanders feel the recent arrival of Asian migrants is changing the country in undesirable ways"
Attitude over Chinese in New Zealand remains fairly negative, and Chinese are still considered to be less respected people in New Zealand.
Starting with the California Gold Rush in the late 19th century, the United States--particularly the West Coast states--imported large numbers of Chinese migrant laborers. Early Chinese immigrant worked as gold miners, and later on subsequent large labor projects, such as the building of the First Transcontinental Railroad. The decline of the Qing Dynasty in China caused many Chinese to emigrate overseas in search of a more stable life, and this coincided with the rapid growth of American industry. The Chinese were considered by employers as "reliable" workers who would continue working, without complaint, even under destitute conditions.
Chinese migrant workers encountered considerable prejudice in the United States, especially by the people who occupied the lower layers in white society, because Chinese "coolies" were used as a scapegoat for depressed wage levels by politicians and labor leaders. Cases of physical assaults on the Chinese include the Chinese massacre of 1871 in Los Angeles and the murder of Vincent Chin. The 1909 murder of Elsie Sigel in New York, of which a Chinese person was suspected, was blamed on the Chinese in general and led to physical violence. "The murder of Elsie Sigel immediately grabbed the front pages of newspapers, which portrayed Chinese men as dangerous to "innocent" and "virtuous" young white women. This murder led to a surge in the harassment of Chinese in communities across the United States."
Italian-Americans and Irish-Americans, who had once been subject to similar prejudice themselves, were often involved in such assaults, believing that their condition had been worsened by the influx of Chinese laborers.
The emerging American trade unions, under such leaders as Samuel Gompers, also took an outspoken anti-Chinese position, regarding Chinese laborers as competitors to white laborers. Only with the emergence of the international trade union, IWW, did trade unionists start to accept Chinese workers as part of the American working-class.
In the 1870s and 1880s various legal discriminatory measures were taken against the Chinese. These laws, in particular the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, were aimed at restricting further immigration from China. although the laws were later repealed by the Chinese Exclusion Repeal Act of 1943. In particular, even in his lone dissent against Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), then-Supreme Court Justice John Marshall Harlan wrote of the Chinese as: "a race so different from our own that we do not permit those belonging to it to become citizens of the United States. Persons belonging to it are, with few exceptions, absolutely excluded from our country. I allude to the Chinese race."
In the 2010 United States elections, a significant number of negative advertisements from both major political parties focused on a candidates' alleged support for free trade with China which were criticized by Jeff Yang for promoting anti-Chinese xenophobia. Some of the stock images that accompanied ominous voiceovers about China were actually of Chinatown, San Francisco. These advertisements included one produced by Citizens Against Government Waste called "Chinese Professor," which portrays a 2030 conquest of the West by China and an ad by Congressman Zack Space attacking his opponent for supporting free trade agreements like NAFTA, which the ad claimed causes jobs to be outsourced to China.
Donald Trump, the 45th President of the United States, was accused of promoting Sinophobia throughout his campaign for the Presidency in 2016. and following with Donald Trump's trade tariffs on Chinese goods, which was seen as trade war and another anti-Chinese act.
The current deterioration of relations has led to a spike in anti-Chinese sentiment in the US. According to a Pew Research Center poll released in August 2019, 60 percent of Americans have negative opinions about China, with only 26 percent holding positive views. The same poll found that China was named as America's greatest enemy by 24 percent of respondents in USA, tied along with Russia.
Anti-Chinese sentiment broke out in Kenya when Kenyans accused Chinese for looting and stealing jobs from Kenyans, thus attacking Chinese workers and Chinese immigrants inside the country in 2016.
Ghanaians have alleged Chinese miners of illegally seizing jobs, polluting community water supplies, and disturbing agricultural production through their work.
A sixteen-year-old illegal Chinese miner was shot in 2012, while trying to escape arrest.
Multiple presidential candidate Michael Sata has often invoked harsh rhetoric against the Chinese commercial presence in Africa's largest copper producing country. Though he failed to win elections thrice, he won the 2011 election.
During the 19th century the British Empire, which used to control most of South Africa, spread Sinophobia across the country.
Recent rise of Sinophobic sentiment in South Africa is largely contributed to by economic looting from China and growing Chinese influence in the country. In 2015, South Africa planned to allow for Mandarin to be taught in schools in South Africa solicited umbrage from the teachers' union and set social media and comment sections ablaze with fears of a Chinese "imperialism" in Africa and a new "colonialism"; as well as recent increasing Chinese immigration to the country.
In 2017, violence against Chinese immigrants and other foreign workers broke out in Durban, then quickly spread out in other major cities in South Africa as for the result of Chinese fears over taking South Africa.
Depiction of China and Chinese in official medias have been somewhat under subject in general, but overall, the majority of depiction over China and Chinese are surrounded about coverages, mainly, as negative. In 2016, Hong Kong's L. K. Cheah said to South China Morning Post that Western journalists who regard China's motives with suspicion and cynicism are cherry-picking facts based on a biased view, and the misinformation they produce as a result is unhelpful, and sympathetic of the resentment against China. Many Chinese consider this is "war of information".
According from China Daily, a nationalist press of China, Hollywood is accused for its negative portrayal of Chinese in movies, such as bandits, dangerous, cold-blood, weak and cruel; while the Americans as well as several European or Asians like Filipino, Taiwanese, Korean, Hong Konger, Vietnamese, Indian and Japanese characters in general are depicted as saviors, even anti-Chinese whitewashing in film is common. Matt Damon, the American actor who appeared in The Great Wall, had also faced criticism that he had participated in "whitewashing" through his involvement in forthcoming historical epic The Great Wall, a large-scale Hollywood-Chinese co-production, which he denied. Several another examples is the depiction of ancient Tang Chinese in Yeon Gaesomun, a Korean historical drama, as "barbaric, inhuman, violent" seeking to conquer Goguryeo and subjecting Koreans.
In practice, anti-Chinese political rhetoric usually puts emphasis on highlighting policies and alleged practices of the Chinese government that are criticised internally - corruption, human rights issues, unfair trades, censorship, violence, military expansionism, political interferences and historical imperialist legacies. It is often in line with independent medias opposing Chinese Government in Mainland China as well as in the Special Administrative Regions of China, Hong Kong and Macau. In defence of this rhetoric, some sources critical of the Chinese government claim that it is Chinese state-owned media and administration who attempt to discredit the "neutral" criticism by generalizing it into indiscriminate accusations of the whole Chinese population and targeting those who criticize the regime - or Sinophobia. Some have argued, however, that the Western media, similar to Russia's case, doesn't make enough distinction between CPC's regime and China and the Chinese, thus effectively vilifying the whole nation.
Due to the deep resentment over China-made business as well as unfair trades from Chinese corporations, several countries have taken measures to ban or limit Chinese companies from investing in its markets. Notably is the case of Huawei and ZTE, which were banned from operating or doing business with American companies in the United States due to alleged involvements from Chinese Government and security concerns. It was seen as discrimination against China. Some countries like India also moves closer to full ban or limit operations of Chinese corporations inside their countries for the exact reasons.
According to The Economist, many Western as well as non-Chinese investors still think that anything to do with China is somewhat "dirty" and unfresh as most look on China as a country which often interferes on other businesses. Alexandra Stevenson from The New York Times also noted that "China wants its giant national companies to be world leaders in sectors like electric cars, robotics and drones, but the authorities are accused of curtailing foreign firms' access to Chinese consumers."
List of non-Chinese "sinophobia-led" violence against ethnic Chinese
There are a variety of derogatory terms referring to China and Chinese people. Many of these terms are viewed as racist. However, these terms do not necessarily refer to the Chinese ethnicity as a whole; they can also refer to specific policies, or specific time periods in history.
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Compared to its European counterparts, Chinese immigration of the late nineteenth century was minuscule (4 percent of all immigration at its zenith), but it inspired one of the most brutal and successful nativist movements in U.S. history. Official and popular racism made Chinese newcomers especially vulnerable; their lack of numbers, political power, or legal protections gave them none of the weapons that enabled Irish Catholics to counterattack nativists.
envoy, had most effectively poured out his tale of woe, of deprivation at the hands of the Portuguese in Malacca; and he had backed up the tale with others concerning the reprehensible Portuguese methods in the Moluccas, making the case (quite truthfully) that European trading visits were no more than the prelude to annexation of territory. With the tiny sea power at this time available to the Chinese)
The murder of Elsie Sigel immediately grabbed the front pages of newspapers, which portrayed Chinese men as dangerous to "innocent" and "virtuous" young white women. This murder led to a surge in the harassment of Chinese in communities across the United States.