Skip to content
  • 4 min read

Is Washington Post fueling Asian fear hysteria?

Source: Global Times By Ai Jun

The Washington Post (WP) published an article on Wednesday entitled, “Anti-China is not anti-Asian.” While it appears to stand against anti-Asian hate crimes, it is, as a matter of fact, merely manufacturing more hatred. 

The opinion piece is filled with groundless accusations against China. It claims, “the central cause of the current epidemic of anti-Asian violence is resentment at the pandemic’s staggering toll,” and because “China has not been held to account.” It blamed China for not having apologized for “mishandling of the outbreak” to reduce Americans’ collective rage. 

Such rhetoric basically argues that racist hate crimes are justified because people have good reason to be furious. In other words, it is saying anti-Asian is wrong, but anti-China is somehow justified. This is the article‘s deranged, core theme. 

Xu Liang, associate professor at the School of International Relations, Beijing International Studies University, told Global Times on Wednesday that the author showed his understanding of US politics — appeasing Asians means getting more votes, so does spinning anti-China rhetoric.

So, the WP is separating China from Asia, or Chinese from Asian. “Diplomatically, the tactic may disintegrate Asia, which aims at drawing more Asian countries to the US’ anti-China camp. Domestically, it may isolate Chinese Americans from other Asian ethnic groups in the US,” Xu said. 

The author, however, pretends to be unaware of his own well-choreographed political calculations, while clamoring that, “the overwhelming volume of the rhetoric targeting Beijing has been prompted not by abstract geopolitical competition but by tangible grievances, including China’s genocide in Xinjiang, intensifying repression in Tibet, dismantling of democracy in Hong Kong….” 

Regardless of how reckless and groundless these denunciations are, the argument is confusing cause and effect. The US has a long track record of attacking China’s affairs on the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, and the Tibet Autonomous Region. “The fundamental driving force is exactly US geopolitical strategy,” Xu noted, further explaining that Washington has hyped up relevant China affairs since Bill Clinton’s presidency. 

A simple search for “Tenzin Dorjee,” who wrote this piece, reveals that he once worked for the US-based National Endowment for Democracy. This is defined by some reports as a “CIA front” with the function to take over the CIA’s political regime-change programs. It may explain where Dorjee’s political stance in this piece came from, or the hidden purpose in it. 

Yet it is absurd to believe that one can separate Chinese from Asian in US systematic racism. 

Another case: in “Reckoning with Asian America,” an op-ed published on April 2 in US Science magazine, made a review of the US’, “under-recognized history of anti-Asian violence and discrimination” that “dates back more than 150 years.” It articulated that Asian Americans are, “the least likely among all women to be promoted to leadership positions,” and that, “US history is fraught with anti-Asian violence, misogyny, nativist discrimination, and legal exclusion, all of which are often absent in textbooks and university curricula.”

Do those have anything to do with COVID-19? It has nothing to do with the major power game with China, that’s for sure. The truth is, the US, as a country of immigrants, has actually been a gate-keeping country, as Erika Lee, Rudolph J. Vecoli Chair and Director of the Immigration History Research Center at the University of Minnesota, put it. 

Before Dorjee, or the WP, attempts to find any excuse for the ongoing, shocking hate crime in the US, they might as well explore a bit more of US own history. Racism runs deep in the heart of quite a few Americans. And now some are taking the pandemic and China as scapegoats.

Take a look at the headlines such as “Workplace Discrimination Based On Names.” There has been basically no mention of distinguishing Asian people’s nationalities when it comes to racism. When some deranged white Americans storm toward and brutally assault people of Asian heritage, they are not thinking about whether or not they are Asian or Chinese. This is indiscriminate violence. 

So the WP article is wrong on so-many levels. Worst of all, it is publicly fanning hostility toward another country and its people. 

This is an old trick of the US, both by certain politicians and media outlets, to divert the public’s attention on the government’s poor performance. Yet it will be the stability of US own society, home of various ethnic groups, that will eventually be hurt. The ruse, if played for too long, will only add fuel to the fire of US escalating violence.