England is less tolerant of mixed-race couples than China

By Sabrina Samra Source:Global Times Published: 2017/9/20 19:28:40

Illustration: Chen Xia/GT


BBC News recently published a story headlined "British man's heavily-pregnant Chinese wife denied visa." To me, it's absolutely outrageous that Britain, in this day and age, does not support or even encourage interracial and cross-ethnic marriages.

Outwardly, England appears to be a modern, open-minded and forward-thinking country in regards to family values, but when it comes to the actual system, England definitely isn't so open. This was dramatically emphasized by this tragic story of a pregnant Chinese woman, married to a Brit, who has only been granted a two-month's extension of her visa in order to give birth, after which she will most likely be deported back to China.

The British father-to-be was described as "heartbroken" and feeling as if the UK is "kicking us both out!" According to the BBC report, the UK Home Office bluntly issued their decision, stating, "While we accept that you and your husband are in a genuine and subsisting relationship, you have provided no evidence that there would be any insurmountable obstacles to your family life continuing in China."

It is absolutely barbaric that although they have met all of the UK immigration rules, such as having a certain combined income (£18,600{$25,155.53}), her visa was still rejected. Moreover, it is ironic that England is idolized by the Chinese as such an open-minded and fair country, yet it has these harsh requirements in regards to having a foreign partner.

Many mixed-race couples, especially of Asian heritage, in the UK are struggling to reside or marry their partners there. With the recent decision to Brexit, it seems that there is a growing attitude of not wanting people from other countries to enter England. Indeed, since Brexit, there has been an increase in racially aggravated acid attacks and verbal and physical abuse across the UK.

Although China has in some ways more of a traditional mind-set when it comes to mixed-race marriages, it is arguably much more accepting of them in regards to its system. It is not as difficult for a foreign man, married to a Chinese woman, to get a spouse visa that allows him to reside in China. In fact, the UK visa and immigration office used this as a reason to reject the pregnant Chinese woman's visa on the grounds that the couple "have no reason why they can't relocate to China."

In January, Chinese-British novelist Guo Xiaolu shared an extract of her new book, titled "'Is this what the West is really like?' How it felt to leave China for Britain." In it, she stated, "Now I realized there had been some truth to my own country's communist education: the West was not all milk and honey."

Guo also expressed her frustration toward the British after releasing her new movie there, stating that, "I don't think English society or the English market care about the Chinese at all." As a side note, it is interesting to know that Guo managed to lose her Chinese passport, by mistake as she applied for a British passport, without realizing that would compromise her Chinese passport.

Perhaps Britain's true populist colors are coming out now that Brexit is in effect. The West, led by Trump supporters and Brexiters, seems to be going backward in time in regards to racist attitudes and exclusion of diversity. Ultimately, we should promote more choices and have less restrictions for couples who are brave and confident enough to marry across cultures. It is such a difficult and often challenging decision to make for two people without further problems related to visas and passports.

The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Global Times.



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