Chinese students experience coronavirus backlash

Chinese students in the UK have been on the receiving end of racist comments, it’s been reported, after two cases of coronavirus were confirmed here by Public Health England. 

According to Oushinet, a UK-based Chinese news website, a Chinese student attending Loughborough University was attacked for wearing a face mask to protect her from coronavirus. A second student, studying at Sheffield University faced a similar experience, the website reported

Chinese students at Goldsmiths, University of London have told ELL that they too have experienced racism recently. One Chinese student told us they’d been attacked verbally.  “Just now on the road, there was oneman shouting at me ‘F*** off, Chinese virus!’. I felt scared and went quickly away.”

Some even indicated that they are scared of wearing masks in London. Nacho, a Chinese MA design student, told us she wanted to wear a face mask but didn’t feel comfortable doing so. the reasons why she is not wearing face masks. She said she was afraid she would be on the end of racist comments if she was wearing face masks.

 “I don’t know why this is causing hatred toward Chinese people who are wearing face masks. It is protective for people wearing it and people around and also slows down the spread of any virus.” 

A member of the Goldsmiths student advice team told us that any students who are worried can always seek help from of the university’s hate crime reporting centre. Students, staff and members of the public can get more information from their website.

Meanwhile, the Asian community from different countries is actively fighting for their own rights and justice. A global movement called #IamNotTheVirus is popular among the Asian community on twitter. Thousands of Asians are tweeting under the hashtag #PrayForChina and #PrayForWuhan. In France, Asian community are using #JeNeSuisPasUnVirus (#iamnotthevirus) to against racism and #NoSoyVirus in Spain.

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