What are different races in China

At the top are the whites and the Chinese

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Racist ideas have been entrenched in China over the centuries. In his book Strangers at the Gate Frederic Wakeman Jr. describes how the Ming dynasty from the 14th century almost completely cut off contact with other civilizations and declared that all foreign cultures are barbaric. You neither have to worry about them nor fear them. With the Opium Wars, which almost subjected China to colonization, this worldview was shaken. Since then, other ideas of a racially justified hierarchy have developed: At the top are the whites and the Chinese, who compete with each other. Below is a mix of other "races" and the place assigned to blacks is at the bottom.

Different "races" are discriminated against in different ways, and each of these approaches has its own origins. The hostility towards the whites, the westerners, stems from the humiliations of the colonial times and communist education of the people during the Cold War. The hostility towards blacks is based on a traditional contempt for the dark skin color, reinforced by the prejudices of the colonial rulers from the West, who explained the economic backwardness of Africa or the social problems of African Americans simply with the alleged "stupidity" or "laziness" of blacks.

The 21st century has added a new "race" to this hierarchy: the Muslims. After September 11th, the global increase in Islamist terrorist attacks, the Uighur riots of 2008, the Urumqi uprisings in 2009 and the Kunming massacre in 2014, Muslims were slowly sorted at the bottom of the black list. This fantasized hierarchy can partly explain the compassionate Chinese society in dealing with Tibetan Buddhists and the Muslims persecuted by the government in the Uighur autonomous region of Xinjiang, as well as the hatred of refugees that emerged in the recent crisis, including numerous Muslims are.

The story of chaos and violence

The Chinese government has shown great sympathy for hatred of Muslims, even encouraging the spread of false reports of "numerous horrific crimes committed by Muslims" that are rampant on social media. This kind of fake news has solidified the impression in the Chinese population that there was chaos and violence in Europe and the USA, and thus legitimized the hard hand of the Chinese police state. False reports will also help legitimize the brutal suppression of the Muslims in Xinjiang, should it become known in China - most Chinese people are ignorant of the situation there because of the strict control of the news from Xinjiang.

Fake news from Russian-controlled media or right-wing groups in the West were quickly translated into Chinese and disseminated by like-minded Chinese media or social media users. Many Chinese overseas and Chinese foreign students were actively involved. The main roles in these vividly painted stories are played by refugees who rape women, beat people or break other laws in their host countries. "The number of Muslims grows and grows and at some point they will wipe out Western culture," while the police "look the other way" or cover up the crimes because of "stupid political correctness," they say. From Canada to Australia there is growing protest from Chinese immigrant groups against their host countries because they are taking in refugees.

In 2017, two online surveys caused a sensation in China. The participants were asked whether they would take in refugees themselves and whether China should do so. One of the polls, initiated by a Weibo user named DoualdS, was attended by 210,000 people. The other was from the Global Times launched a nationalist state website. In the first survey, 97.3 percent of the participants stated that they were against refugees; In the second, 79.6 percent of the participants voted against accepting refugees in their cities or having them as neighbors.

Model citizens abroad

But now the Chinese themselves belong to one of the largest migrant groups in the world. How do the Chinese, who are hostile to refugees and migrants, deal with this fact? By declaring Chinese migrants to be the most valuable model citizens of their respective host countries.

The Second Sino-Japanese War, the Civil War and the Cultural Revolution forced millions of Chinese to flee. And after communist China opened up to the outside world in the 1980s, Chinese emigrants left their homeland legally and illegally. In 2017, around 4,160,000 Chinese immigrants were counted in the United States, Canada, Australia, and Singapore, making them one of the top three immigrant groups in each of these countries. In some Asian countries such as Indonesia, Japan and South Korea, the Chinese also make up the largest group of immigrants.

"The Chinese are beautiful, benevolent, smart and have class. We look forward to the world's reaction to us in a relaxed manner ... We are people of the best Chinese descent with first-class genes, we happily walk towards the world of the future," said Zhu Youguang, the director of a national corporate film, became journalists in 2011 after his film was shown on big screens in New York's Times Square. Screenings in many other world cities followed. Zhu's words reflect the homeland propaganda widespread in China.