US hate crimes, xenophobic rhetoric daunt Chinese

By Zhao Yusha Source:Global Times Published: 2019/8/5 19:49:18

‘Beacon of freedom’ fading through white supremacy: expert

Mourners gather at Levitt Pavilion following the mass shooting that left at least nine dead and 26 injured along the 400 block of E. Fifth Street, on Sunday in Dayton, Ohio, US. Photo: IC

Chinese internet users expressed safety concerns for US society after two mass shootings claimed dozens of lives. 

Some users said the US had already lost its appeal through its hostile polices against China, with the shootings just adding fuel to the fire. 

US society is grappling with two mass shootings in two cities over the weekend, which left 20 people dead in El Paso and nine others killed in Dayton.

The BBC reported on Monday that a 21-year-old white man was arrested for attacking El Paso. 

The suspect was believed to have posted an online document calling the attack a response to "the Hispanic invasion of Texas."

US President Donald Trump on Sunday ordered flags to be flown at half-mast, media reported.

The tragedy also drew the attention of Chinese internet users, who offered condolences to the victims while also expressing concerns over the deteriorating safety situation in the US.

Many urged the public to be cautious about traveling to the US.

Students debated the US government's immigration policies and the political rhetoric that is fueling capacity for the tragedy, said Tim Li, a Chinese student studying at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 

Li expressed concerns about rising right-wing populism and white supremacy in the US, saying it was leaving him and people of other races "very insecure."

Hate crimes rose 9 percent in 2018 from the previous year to a decade high of 2,009 in 30 US cities surveyed according to a report published in late July by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism (CSHE) of California State University in Santa Barbara. 

The rise was the fifth consecutive increase and the steepest since 2015.

The US used to be proud of being a "beacon of freedom" for its diversity and tolerance of differences, Wang Yiwei, a director of China's Institute of International Affairs at Renmin University in Beijing, told the Global Times.

"Those values helped the country to attract people from all over the world," Wang said.

Wang noted those values were "no longer valued by US society and the country has become a hub of violence."

The US has lost its appeal to many Chinese for its hostile policies toward China and ill-intended interference in China's domestic affairs, Wang asserted.

People-to-people exchanges between the two countries will be severely damaged if the US continued with its "biased policies," Wang warned. 

Ridiculous comments from some US politicians including US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who called the protests in Hong Kong "a beautiful sight to behold" also angered Chinese society.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying refuted Pelosi's statement on Friday, saying "I hope there will be more 'beautiful sights' of this kind in the US." 

One Sina Weibo user posted that maybe Pelosi "will think someone burning the US national flag, smearing the US national emblem and writing insulting words on US government buildings are 'beautiful sights' as well."

Other users noted that given the current US security situation and souring relationship between China and the US, they would be more cautious about travelling or studying in the country.

In early June, Chinese authorities issued a warning about studying or travelling in the US after they reportedly received criticism from Chinese students and travelers about maltreatment and discrimination they received in the US. 

Newspaper headline: US hate crimes, xenophobia daunt Chinese

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