Fears of new viruses trigger anti-Chinese sentiment worldwide

SEOUL: A new scary virus from China has spread all over the world. So has the growing anti-Chinese sentiment, calling for a total ban on traveling to Chinese visitors and indignities for the Chinese and other Asians.

Restaurants in South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong and Vietnam have refused to accept Chinese customers. The Indonesians marched near a hotel and asked the Chinese guests to leave. French and Australian newspapers face criticism for racist headlines. The Chinese and other Asians in Europe, the United States, Asia and the Pacific complain about racism.

Two dozen countries outside of China reported cases of the new one, which killed more than 300 people and made thousands of others sick in China. Many countries have sent planes to the Chinese city of Wuhan to evacuate their citizens.

Feelings against China occur when a powerful Beijing reinforces its global influence, and the rise of China has caused trade, political and diplomatic disputes with many countries.

But with the growing fear of the mysterious disease, an anti-Chinese and, in some cases, more acute anti-Asian reaction has occurred.

Here is a glimpse of AP journalists from around the world:


The websites of South Korea have been flooded with comments asking the government to block or expel Chinese and racist comments on the eating habits and hygiene of the Chinese. A popular seafood restaurant in Seoul frequented by Chinese tourists posted a sign that said there is no entry for Chinese before closing it on Wednesday after an online reaction.

Around 600,000 South Koreans have signed an online petition filed with the presidential Blue House calling for a temporary ban on Chinese visitors. Some conservative opposition lawmakers publicly endorse these steps, and some 30 people demonstrated near the Blue House on Wednesday to demand that the government immediately ban Chinese tourists.

Unconditional xenophobia against the Chinese is intensifying in South Korea, the newspaper JoongAng Ilbo of mass circulation said in an editorial on Thursday. Infectious diseases are a matter of science, not a problem that can be solved by emotional outpouring.


After it was learned that someone attending Arizona State University has the virus, Ari Deng, who is an American Chinese, said he sat at a study table on the Tempe, Arizona campus, near five other students.

Deng, who was the only Asian, said the other students began to whisper. They got really tense and quickly gathered their things and simply left at the same time.

In a recent business class, a non-Asian student said: Don't be racist, but there are many international students living in my apartment complex. I try to keep my distance but I think it's a good precaution for all of us to wash our hands, 'said Deng.

It hurts, but I don't let it take up space in my mind or weigh in my conscience, he said.

Meanwhile, the Berkeley Health Services Center at the University of California on Thursday removed an Instagram post that said fears of interacting with those who might be from Asia and blame for these feelings were a normal reaction to the situation.

No matter how much time we spend in this country, sometimes we are almost immediately seen as foreigners, said Gregg Orton, national director of the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans. It is a very frustrating reality for many of us.


The virus has deepened anti-Chinese sentiment in Hong Kong, where months of street protests against Beijing's influence have shaken the semi-autonomous Chinese city.

Last week, Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam suspended high-speed rail and ferry services to the mainland and reduced flights between Hong Kong and Chinese cities.

Tenno Ramen, a Japanese noodle restaurant in Hong Kong, refuses to serve customers from the mainland.

We want to live longer. We want to protect local customers. Please forgive us, the restaurant said on Facebook.


A French teacher recently started a conversation on Twitter under (hash) JeNeSuisPasUnVirus (I am not a virus) that has generated numerous stories of discrimination, from mocked children in the schoolyard to subway passengers who move away from people who look Asian .

France has a significant and growing Asian community, and Chinese visitors are a pillar of the French tourism industry, but the old prejudices are deep. A regional newspaper in northern France published a front-page warning about a Yellow Alert, and then apologized amid national criticism.

It is a virus that comes from a region of China. It could have come from North Africa, Europe or anywhere, said Soc Lam, legal advisor to Chinese community groups in Paris. People should not consider that just because we are Asian, we are more likely to spread the virus.

A Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Posten, published a cartoon that replaced the yellow stars of the Chinese flag with representations of the virus. The Chinese embassy in Copenhagen called the cartoon an insult to China and demanded that the newspaper apologize.

The German magazine Der Spiegel published a headline that said it was made in China along with a photo of a person with protective equipment.

On Friday, a café near the Trevi Fountain in Rome, a popular tourist site, posted a notice in its window saying that all people who come from China are not allowed to access this place, according to the Italian news agency ANSA. When AP journalists went to see him, the publication was no longer in the window.


More than 51,000 signatures have appeared in an online petition apologizing for the two largest newspapers in Australia for their headlines.

The petition on Wednesday condemned the head of the Melbourne Herald Sun that said pandamonium of the Chinese virus, a spelling mistake that plays in the pandas native to China, and the head of The Daily Telegraph in Sydney the same day it said: Chinese children They stay at home.

Singaporean Kiwi Dollice Chua told the New Zealand Herald that when she went to an Auckland mall last week to buy a wedding card, a woman looked at her badly and said: You Asians are the ones who brought this virus . Chua has lived in New Zealand for 21 years. He is racist and more than rude, he said.


Many Japanese have turned to social networks to request a travel ban for Chinese visitors amid concerns that they will come to Japan to receive virus-related treatments. One tweet said: Please ban Chinese tourists immediately, while another said: I am so worried that my son can get the virus.

A candy store in Hakone, a hot spring city west of Tokyo, recently appeared in the headlines after publishing a note that said: Chinese entry to the store is prohibited. On Wednesday, Menya Hareruya, a popular ramen chain in Sapporo, on the northern island of Hokkaido, in Japan, published a sign that said No entry for Chinese tourists.

Zhang Jiaqi, a Chinese student in Tokyo, said he had not faced any unpleasant responses from fellow Japanese friends and friends, but added: I noticed that some people turned around or looked at me with an angry expression when I was talking With my friends in Chinese.


Last weekend, several hundred residents in the Indonesian tourist town of Bukittinggi marched to the Novotel Hotel, where some 170 Chinese tourists were staying, to protest their entry into Indonesia.

They blocked the roads near the hotel to prevent the Chinese, who had arrived a day earlier, from leaving the hotel. Local authorities decided to send visitors back to China later in the day.

More than 400,000 Malaysians have signed an online petition calling for a ban on Chinese travelers and urging the government to save our family and our children.

A hotel in Danang, Vietnam, a popular beach destination, has refused to accept Chinese tourists.

A former police officer and city mayor, Abner Afuang, said he burned a Chinese flag on Friday in front of the National Press Club in Manila to protest the problems that China has brought to the Philippines and other Southeast Asian countries, including the virus and Beijing's claim to the disputed islands in the sea.

The Philippine president's office said in a statement: We do not engage in discriminatory behaviors, nor act with any bias towards our fellow men. The reality is that everyone is susceptible to the virus.