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'China threat' rhetoric another form of hate crime: China Daily editorial

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2021-11-24 19:35

People take part in a Stop Asian Hate rally in San Jose, California, the United States, April 25, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua]

Fear, ignorance and misinformation about the novel coronavirus have led to a growing number of racist attacks in the United States against anyone who looks Asian.

According to data from the New York Police Department, the number of hate crimes against Asians was up 368 percent in the city in September compared with the same month last year.

And according to the latest data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, in the US as a whole, hate crimes against Asians rose by 73 percent in 2020 compared with the number in 2019, something the US media described as "a disproportionate uptick" compared to hate crimes in general that rose by 13 percent.

The rising tide of Asian hate in the US has much to do with the US leadership's ceaseless attempts to throw mud at China to cover its tragic ineptitude in leading the fight against the virus. To shrug off its responsibility, the previous US administration did everything it could to pin the blame for the US' woes on China. It's rival of the "yellow peril" language of yesteryear stoking public fear of and hostility toward Asians.

Unfortunately, despite there being a change of administration, the new officeholders have done little to correct the wrongdoings of their predecessors. Indeed, the incumbent administration has further fueled the popular impression among the gullible that the distress in the US has been made in China by pinning its origin-tracing calls onto a virology lab in China. The president even instructed US security agencies to conduct what was purported to be an "investigation" simply to imply the virus is part of the "China threat" the US faces.

That's unfair to the American people, whose lives are being put at risk by the failure to take the necessary steps to control the virus. And it creates additional risks for anyone who looks Asian in the US, especially anyone who looks Chinese.

Chinese Americans are good contributors to the US economy. The Economist reports that Chinese Americans contributed over $300 billion to the country's economy in 2019 alone through consumer spending, supporting 3 million jobs. And there are more than 160,000 Chinese American-owned businesses that support 1.3 million jobs.

The US government has still not brought the virus under control, which has resulted in the daily number of infections rising above 80,000 once again, and the death toll rising to more than 773,770, the highest in the world.

That's a lesson the US leadership must learn. It is time the administration took responsible measures to control the virus, rather than fueling the ugly passions of discrimination and racism.

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