Dehai News

China's complicated COVID-19 game | Anti-Asian racism flares

Posted by: The Conversation Global

Date: Friday, 03 April 2020


Editor's note

Two months ago, countries were donating masks to China to aid in its battle against coronavirus. Now, China is sending masks around the world as new countries become overwhelmed. But this "mask diplomacy" is more than just much-welcomed soft diplomacy. As Haiqing Yu and Michael Keane explain, China is playing a complicated game to prove itself as the new global superpower. These masks are a "white face" (friendly face) abroad, while the country shows a "red face" (hostile face) at home.

One of the darkest elements of the coronavirus outbreak has been the anti-Asian sentiment that's accompanied it. Since the virus emerged from China at the end of 2019, North America in particular has seen a spike of racist terms, memes and news articles targeting Asian communities. Sadly, writes Paula Larsson, this sort of prejudice linked to fears of disease is not new.

Jane Howard

Deputy Section Editor: Arts + Culture

Top Stories


Masking power in the age of contagion: the two faces of China in the wake of coronavirus

Haiqing Yu, RMIT University; Michael Keane, Curtin University

As the cases of coronavirus spread across the world, China is keen to position itself as a charitable country through "mask diplomacy" internationally, while showing a different face at home.

A building damaged during anti-Asian riots in Vancouver in 1907. (UBC Archives, JCPC_ 36_017)

Anti-Asian racism during coronavirus: How the language of disease produces hate and violence

Paula Larsson, University of Oxford

Fear of COVID-19 has sparked some to react with violent racism towards Asian Americans and Canadians. This is not the first time fear of disease has led to outbreaks of violent anti-Asian racism.


Drug companies should drop their patents and collaborate to fight coronavirus

Enrico Bonadio, City, University of London; Andrea Baldini, Nanjing University

Drug companies normally use patents to protect new treatments.

How coronavirus challenges Muslims’ faith and changes their lives

Mehmet Ozalp, Charles Sturt University

As it has for many other people, the lockdown restrictions to deal with the spread of coronavirus is having a signficiant impact on the way Msulims practise their faith.

India and coronavirus: lack of access to handwashing facilities among poor makes fight even harder

Christophe Z Guilmoto, Institut de recherche pour le développement (IRD); Thomas Licart, Université de Strasbourg

In India handwashing practices have come under scrutiny as millions of Indian poorest return home from major cities. Many do not have access to basic amenities.

2 reasons – and 1 disease – that make peace in Syria so difficult

Ora Szekely, Clark University

Everyone in Syria is fighting a slightly different war from everyone else, there are outsiders with their own goals – and the coronavirus is about to make everything much worse.

Arts, Culture and Society

50 years on, I can’t stop listening to this seminal Miles Davis album

Adam Behr, Newcastle University

Davis's 1970 album Bitches Brew turned jazz on its head and paved the way for fusion. More recently, Radiohead cited it as a key influence.

A tribute to poet and professor Harry Garuba: we continue to learn with you

Natasha Himmelman, University of the Witwatersrand; Nicole Sarmiento, University of Cape Town; Thuto Thipe, University of Cape Town

With humility that belied his global stature, his laugh came easily, and his generous storytelling taught lessons that his students grew into for many years after he shared them.

En español

Por qué preocupa tanto la pandemia de COVID-19 en África

Elena Gómez Díaz, Instituto de Parasitología y Biomedicina López-Neyra (IPBLN-CSIC); Israel Cruz Mata, Instituto de Salud Carlos III

El continente es especialmente sensible a la pandemia, pero también ha aprendido muchas lecciones de emergencias anteriores.

Trabajo precario: El daño que no vemos cuando consumimos

María Ángeles Cadarso, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha; Ángela García-Alaminos; Fabio Monsalve Serrano, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha; Jorge Enrique Zafrilla Rodríguez, Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha

En los países desarrollados los trabajadores tienen altos niveles de protección, pero ¿somos conscientes de qué condiciones de trabajo esconden los productos que importamos?


Eritrean Independence Day May 24 2020