CHINA / DIPLOMACY
Amid surge in anti-Asian violence, Chinese FM urges US to fulfill commitments
Published: Apr 06, 2021 09:35 PM


Zhao Lijian

Zhao Lijian

Amid a recent surge in hate crimes against Asians in the US, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a press conference on Tuesday that China hopes the US will fulfill its commitment to offer proper protection of the rights of ethnic minorities.

"Your question reminds me of the cover of the latest issue of The New Yorker. In the painting titled 'Delayed,' an Asian mother holds her daughter's hand while waiting for a train in a subway station, her eyes cautiously looking elsewhere, eagerly anticipating the arrival of the subway, while her daughter stands by her side holding her mother's hand tightly, alert to the movement on the other side," Zhao said, responding to a reporter's question over the growing discrimination and hate crimes against Asians in the US.

"It was an ordinary station, but the Asian mother and daughter appear to be worried about their own safety. Such a scene is very heartbreaking," Zhao added.

The cover of the latest issue of The New Yorker Delayed. By R. Kikuo Johnson.

The cover of the latest issue of The New Yorker "Delayed." By R. Kikuo Johnson.

A series of attacks against Asians in the US has drawn global attention and sparked concern in the US. The New York Times recently published an article titled "Swelling Anti-Asian Violence," noting that in the past year, Asians have been pushed, beaten, spat on and verbally abused, as well as having their homes and stores vandalized. Since March last year, there have been more than 110 episodes of race-based hate across the US, and many attacks against Asians are not included in the statistics as they are not reported.

Earlier, a report released by California State University also showed that hate crimes against Asians in the US surged by 149 percent in 2020.

Zhao noted that after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, politicians in the Trump administration made overt or suggestive xenophobic statements, using names that target specific geographic areas or people, as well as spreading false information and racist rhetoric. These practices have directly contributed to the rise in racial discrimination and hate crimes against Asians, Zhao said.

"Racism is pervasive, systemic, and persistent in the US," Zhao added, pointing out that the US committed systematic ethnic cleansing and massacres against Native Americans. Violent law enforcement has also led to the deaths of African Americans, and racial discrimination against minorities is still deeply rooted and widespread in the workplace.

"The US should fulfill its commitment to protect human rights, crack down on discrimination and hate violence against ethnic minorities including Asian Americans, and effectively protect their rights so that they can escape from the nightmare of discrimination and no longer live in fear," Zhao said.


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