Sinophobia (from Latin "Sinae" "the Chinese" + Ancient Greek "φόβος" -phobos, "fear") or anti-Chinese sentiment is a fear or dislike for China, its people, or its culture. [ [ Sinophobic] . The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. Retrieved 2008-08-23.] Sinophobia can affect both the actions and attitudes of individuals, and the policies and pronouncements of governments and other organizations.

Sinophobic attitudes often target Chinese minorities living outside of China,cite web|last=|first=|authorlink= |coauthors=|title=An Evidentiary Timeline on the History of Sacramento's Chinatown: 1882 - American Sinophobia, The Chinese Exclusion Act and "The Driving Out"|work=|publisher=Friends of the Yee Fow Museum, Sacramento, California|date=|url= |format=|doi=|accessdate=2008-03-24 ] cite web|last=Young|first=Jason|authorlink= |coauthors=|title=Review of East by South: China in the Australasian Imagination|work=|publisher=Victoria University of Wellington|date=|url= |format=.doc|doi=|accessdate=2008-03-24 ] cite book|last=Ferrall|first=Charles (ed.)
coauthors=Paul Miller, Keren Smith (eds)|title=East by South: China in the Australasian Imagination|publisher=Victoria University Press|date=2005|location=Wellington, New Zealand|pages=|url=|doi=|id=|isbn=0 86473 491 3
] both in Asia, historically and in the modern era, and in the western world. Sinophobia is often complicated by the economic and political of immigration and majority-minority relations. Where it is directed at China, anti-Chinese sentiment may or may not qualify as ethnic or racial prejudice, as criticisms of the Communist Party of China are not necessarily meant to impugn the Chinese population. Examples are protests against the People's Republic of China government by supporters of Taiwanese independence or by Falun Gong practitioners, many of whom are ethnic Chinese.

outheast Asia

Anti-Chinese sentiment in Southeast Asian countries is often a result of a very different economic position between the Chinese and the other races in each country. A small portion of the Chinese population from the trading coastal provinces of China, and refugees Punti-Hakka Clan Wars in China, emigrated to several Southeast Asian countries and eventually became the majority of the population of Singapore, a large minority in Malaysia, and small (less that 5% of the total population) minority groups in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand, amongst other countries. A strong tradition of trading, and clan-style self-reliance, enabled the Chinese to control much capital and general economic activity in these countries, thereby encouraging Sinophobic sentiment, a situation often compared to that of the Jews in Europe. In countries with small Chinese minorities, the economic disparity was remarkable: making up 1% of the population in the Philippines and 3% in Indonesia, Chinese people controlled 60% and 70% of the nations' private economy, respectively, in 1998. [Chua. pg. 3 & 43.] Similar statistics hold in Burma. One study of the Chinese as a "market-dominant minority" notes that "Chinese market dominance and intense resentment amongst the indigenous majority is characteristic of virtually every country in Southeast Asia". [Chua. (2003). pg. 61.]

This radically asymmetrical economic position has often created explosive anti-Chinese sentiment amongst the poorer majorities. This has led to violence, such as the May 13 Incident in Malaysia in 1969 and the Jakarta riots of 1998 in Indonesia, in which more than 2,000 people died. [ [ Malaysia's race rules] . The Economist Newspaper Limited (2005-08-25). Requires login.] In the Philippines, hundreds of Chinese are kidnapped every year and often killed regardless of ransom—a problem the ethnic Filipino police is often indifferent to. [Chua. pg. 1-5.] In addition, the government of Malaysia is constitutionally obliged to uphold the privileged status of the Bumiputra, at the expense of the Chinese and other ethnic groups. Anti-Chinese legislation was also constitutionalized in Indonesia, but it was lifted in 1998.

In Vietnam, the Sino-Vietnamese War resulted in the discrimination and consequent emigration of the country's ethnic Chinese, many of whom fled as "boat people". From 1978 to 1979, some 450,000 ethnic Chinese left Vietnam by boat as refugees (many of them officially encouraged and assisted), or were expelled across the land border with China. [Griffin, Kevin. [ Vietnamese] . Discover Vancouver.] Additionally, in Cambodia in the late 1960s, an estimated 425,000 ethnic Chinese lived in Cambodia; however by 1984, as a result of Khmer Rouge genocide and emigration, only about 61,400 Chinese remained in the country. [ [ Genocide - Cambodia] ] [ [ The Cambodian Genocide and International Law] ] [ [ Cambodia the Chinese] ]


Tokugawa period

From 1600 to 1868, during the Tokugawa period, Japan transformed from a country divided by civil war to a unified, stable, and mature state. [ [ Tokugawa Period] . BookRags. Retrieved on 2008-08-24.] This period saw an attempt to remove foreign, including Chinese, influence on Japanese culture.

During this period, Japan remained relatively isolated from the world, so its culture developed with very little foreign influence. One of the major cultural movements of the Tokugawa was the institution of a branch of scholarship called "kokugaku", literally "National Studies" and commonly translated as "Japanese Studies". Practitioners of the movement, or "Kokugakushu", attempted to distinguish between what was genuine Japanese culture, and what was foreign culture, [ Tokugawa Enlightenment] ] and to restore Japanese culture to what it was before the influence of foreigners, especially the Chinese. [ First 1500 characters of Shintoism] . Retrieved on 2008-08-24.] For example, their work had a large focus on Shinto, Japan's indigenous religion: [ [ Shinto] . Retrieved on 2008-08-24.] early-Tokugawa Confucians tried to link Shinto with China by pinpointing its Chinese origins, and the Hirata school of the "kokugaku" movement responded by initiating a project to "Japanize" the I Ching, a book that was one of the most important influences on Shinto, by claiming its Japanese origin. The project was completed with Aizawa Seishisai emptying the I Ching of its Chinese content. [Ng, Wai-ming. [ The I Ching in the Shinto Thought of Tokugawa Japan] . University of Hawaii Press (1998). Retrieved on 2008-08-24.] Additionally, the rise in national self-respect during this period resulted in Japan viewing itself as the center of a "civilized world surrounded by barbarians". [Kanji Nishio [ II. Japan's Identity: Is Asia One? Is Japan Part of the East?] Japan Forum on International Relations. Retrieved on 2008-08-24.]

Meiji Restoration

From 1866 to 1869, during Japan's Meiji Restoration, Japan was able to catch up with the progress of the western nations, [ [ Japan needs an Obama] . The Jakarta Post. Retrieved on 2008-09-03.] China was sinking into a state of deep dysfunction. Although Yukichi Fukuzawa insisted that he refused China as a bad friend in Datsu-A Ron, translated to "Argument for Leaving Asia", this was not the thing included the discriminating consciousness to China.

These Sinophobic sentiments helped to materialize the Imperial soldiers' atrocities in massive scale against the Chinese during World War II, culminating in the Nanking Massacre. The Second Sino-Japanese War claimed the lives of more than 20 million Chinese. [ [ Nuclear Power: The End of the War Against Japan] ]

Moreover, "China" showing China which Sun Yat-sen had advocated was used regardless of the formal name of a country at the beginning this of time. However, there is no familiarity in the name of a country called whether this is the directions included the discriminatory intention, and only new China, and whether the conventional name was only used has the room of an argument.

Modern era

Openly sinophobic sentiments were stifled following the end of the Second World War and became a taboo topic in the mainstream media, even though Japan and the People's Republic of China took opposite sides in the Cold War. Except in a handful of cases, such as the Japanese name for "South China Sea" and an alternative term for ramen, use of the word "Shina" all but disappeared. There was little contact between Japan and the People's Republic of China in the ensuing decades. There was little discussion of China until the relationship between the two countries was normalised in 1972, when there was a surge of interest in Japan about its neighbour. China renounced reparations for the Second World War, partly to avoid appearing less generous than Taiwan which earlier did the same and to strengthen its position against the Soviet Union, and there was considerable gratitude and goodwill in Japan at the time. Sinophobia at this time was confined to the context of fear of communism among the still-strong pro-Taiwan forces in politics. Public animosity towards the People's Republic of China was minimal compared to the public animosity held against the Soviet Union, and a friendly mood prevailed. [] Improvements were also seen in social attitudes towards ethnic Chinese residents of Japan, along with other minorities such as Zainichi Koreans, Ainu.

However, in the past decade, Japan has seen a gradual resurgence of anti-Chinese sentiments, particularly since 2000. (The Soviet Union had disavowed Communism and dissolved nine years before; thus, Communism was no longer the overriding issue it once was.) The xenophobic sentiments are coupled with the effects of an increasingly tense political relationship between Japan and the PRC. One reason for the revival of sinophobia is the rapid development of the Chinese economy since its reforms began.Fact|date=July 2008 In addition, China's military build up and its stance against Taiwan has led some in Japan to see it as a potential threat to national security. There is also a hypothesis in Japan that the PRC is continuing to use the issue of history, such as the Japanese history textbook controversies and official visits to the Yasukuni shrine, both as a diplomatic card and to use Japan as a scapegoat in domestic politics. [Matthew Forney, "Why China Loves to Hate Japan". Time Magazine, December 10, 2005.,8599,1139759,00.html, accessed 1 June 2008] The Anti-Japanese Riots in Spring of 2005 and increasing hostility also caused more fear of China within the Japanese public. One of the effects is a political climate which is increasingly tolerant of anti-Chinese comments by right wing politicians.

In the West

China has figured in the Western imagination for more than two millennia in a variety of ways: positively, as an inventive, well-organized alternative civilization and negatively as a monolithic and repressive society. Of the latter, the concept of modern repression is can be viewed in a diametric fashion: on the one hand, anti-communists and proponents of liberal democracy are quick to point out the faults of the People's Republic of China in areas such as human rights. Still others, see China as a closed, traditional society which is hostile to more socially liberal ideas. Moreover, issues like Tiananmen Square and the political status of Tibet continue to be significant irritants in Sino-American relations.

The dramatic change of western imagination towards China from the exotic descriptions of "The Travels of Marco Polo" (which was written in the era of the Mongol conquest and described what was, in essence, a vast imperial empire) developed into a patronising superiority as the West (later including Japan) attempted to extend their colonial empires into China. Later successful attempts in exporting opium into China Empire and a series of other commercial and military successes had exposed to colonial powers a political fact: China's culture appeared glorious, but its government showed weaknesses that could be exploited for commercial and cultural gain. [ [] ]

Sinophobia in the West became more common, as China was becoming an enormous source of immigrants for the west (including the American West). Numerous pioneering immigrants to North America were attracted by western wages, offered by large railway companies in the late 19th century as they looked for cheap labor to build transcontinental railroads.

Sinophobic policies (such as the Chinese Exclusion Act, the Chinese Immigration Act of 1923, anti-Chinese zoning laws and restrictive covenants, the policies of Richard Seddon, and the White Australia policy) and pronouncements on the "yellow peril" were in evidence as late as the mid-20th century in the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.


The Chinese population were also concerned and involved in political and social life in Australia. Often through community leaders and supported by the wider community, they protested against discriminatory legislation and attitudes. Despite the passing of the Immigration Restriction Act in 1901 communities around Australia participated in parades and celebrations of Australia's Federation and the visit of the Duke and Duchess of York.

Although the Chinese were generally peaceful and industrious, resentment flared up against their communities particularly because of their different customs and traditions. Anti-Chinese leagues were established. In the mid 19th century, terms such as "dirty, disease ridden, insect-like" were used in Australia and New Zealand to describe Chinese.

Victoria was the first to pass legislation to try and restrict Chinese immigration through the introduction of a specific poll tax in 1855. This was successively followed by New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia. Often such legislation did not distinguish between naturalised, British citizens, Australian-born and Chinese-born individuals. Legislation in Victoria and New South Wales was repealed in the 1860s but by the 1880s there was a further explosion of anti-Chinese feeling. Despite a steady decline in the number of Chinese residents in Australia the numbers of Chinese and Chinese Australians in the more visible Chinatowns of Melbourne and Sydney was growing. In 1887 two Chinese Commissioners, the first statesmen from China to visit Australia, arrived to assess the living conditions of Chinese in Australia after numerous requests from overseas Chinese. In 1888, following protests and strike actions, an inter-colonial conference agreed to reinstate and increase the severity of restrictions on Chinese immigration. This was adopted by most Colonies across Australia and provided the basis for the 1901 Immigration Restriction Act and the seed for the White Australia Policy.

In the late 1980s, John Howard, who would later become Prime Minister of Australia, formed his One Australia policy, which called for a reduction in Asian immigration.

United States

In the later part of the 19th Century, the United States - in particular, the West Coast states - imported large numbers of industrious, low-paid Chinese migrant laborers. The decline of The Qing Dynasty in China caused many Chinese to emigrate overseas in search of a more stable life, and this coincided with the rapid growth of American industry, needing ever more laborers. The Chinese were considered by employers as "reliable" workers who would continue working, without complaint, even under destitute conditions.

Chinese migrant workers encountered considerable popular prejudice in the United States, especially by the people who hitherto occupied the lower layers in white society. There were cases of physical assaults on Chinese, such as the Chinese massacre of 1871 in Los Angeles. The 1909 murder of Elsie Sigel in New York, of which a Chinese person was suspected (but never proven), was blamed on the Chinese in general and led to physical violence.

Such groups as American Italians and American Irish, who had earlier been subject to similar prejudice themselves (connected with their Catholic religion) were also involved in such physical assaults, considering that their condition had been worsened by the influx of Chinese laborers.

The emerging American trade unions, under such leaders as Gompers, also took an outspoken anti-Chinese position, regarding Chinese laborers as competitors to white ones. Only with the emegence of IWW did trade unionists start to accept Chinese workers as part of the American working class which they set out to organise.

In the 1870s and 1880s various legal dicriminatory measures were taken against the Chinese, aimed at restricting further immigration from China - in particuluar the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882.

Even such a person as Justice John Marshall Harlan, who in the infamous Plessy v. Ferguson case of 1896 was the sole dissenting voice against the segregation of Black Americans and who took what was then an eminently enlightened position on the issue, wrote the following:

In view of the Constitution, in the eye of the law, there is in this country no superior, dominant, ruling class of citizens. There is no caste here. Our Constitution is color-blind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens. In respect of civil rights, all citizens are equal before the law. (...) [But] there is a race so different from our own that we do not permit those belonging to it to become citizens of the United States. Persons belonging to it are, with few exceptions, absolutely excluded from our country. I allude to the Chinese race.

Many Japanese people also emigrated to the U.S. for similar reasons during the same period, and were on occasion subject to the same kind of prejudice. However, in the period of the Second World War, attitudes to Chinese Americans diverged from those to the Japanese ones, with China considered an ally of the United States against the threat of Imperial Japan. Thus, the incarceration of Japanese Americans during WWII, a manifestation of anti-Asian prejudice, did not touch the American Chinese. The calming down of the Anti-Chinese feeling also coincided with the increasing affluence of Chinese Americans, no longer destitute laborers.

Northern Asia

In Russia’s Siberia and the Russian Far East, a tradition of dispute over territorial rights is thinly woven under the conflicts between two largely competing homogeneous cultures over the limited resources. Further than that, there is a fear of a demographic takeover by Chinese immigrants in sparsely populated Russian areas cite web|last=Santoli|first=Al|authorlink= |coauthors=|title=Russian far east residents fear takeover by China; Sino-Russian "strategic cooperation" pact aimed at US|work=|publisher=American Foreign Policy Council|date=2001-01-29|url= |format=|doi=|accessdate=2008-03-25] cite news|first=Peter|last=Baker|pages=|language=|title=Russians fear Chinese ‘takeover’ of Far East regions|date=2003-08-02|publisher=Dawn (newspaper)|url=|accessdate=2008-03-25] .

International Phenomena

Internationally, China's booming economy, enormous population, and tremendous growth in power has been the subject of much speculation and apprehension with many believing that China could soon be in a position to challenge the United States as the sole superpower. The Westerners are uneasy with the prospect of Chinese hegemony, as a country controlled by an unelected, single-party socialist state.

As a result of globalization, many countries have experienced drastic loss of economic competitiveness as more manufacturing facilities are being relocated into China for its self-reliance, stable labor supply and favorable government policies. For this reason, there is a growing level of resentment toward China in these countries.

Meanwhile, China continues to be a major source of immigrants into developing countries in Latin America and Eastern Europe, as well as major industrial nations. Their apparent difference from local cultures and often underdeveloped communication skills have encouraged local Sinophobic sentiments often to violence. A number of massive ransacking of Chinese business and personal attacks have been reported, causing the Chinese government to become increasingly aware of its nationals unsettling state abroad.

Compared to the Jewish community’s recent reaction to anti-Semitism, the reactions of overseas Chinese are comparatively more passionate; there has been sign of unparalleled unity in effort when combating ethnic based stereotyping, such as the unification of Taiwanese, Hong Kong, and Macau residents, as well as a significant portion of mainland Chinese, in expressing resentment against such Sinophobic slights; and organized counteraction, when provoked, is "a sight to be seen" Fact|date=February 2007

Amongst the Chinese, there are those in the community who generally regard such prejudices as the result of a lack of understanding towards their culture, and thus take pride in its uniqueness, along with the belief that its long and enduring legacy as a people, and as a center of innovation and knowledge will win out over such petty racism; this sentiment is especially evident with the growing numbers of Chinese becoming conscious towards China's societal change in the 21st century. Many also point to the eventual economic and political power enjoyed by the ethnic Chinese minority in countries where Chinese emigrants have come to dominate as a model for the Chinese communities in other countries. On the other hand, not a single country has not ever persecuted their ethnic Chinese under the said circumstance. see also|Jakarta Riots of May 1998.

Amongst overseas Chinese immigrant populations, there has emerged a new brand of Anti-Chinese sentiment coming from Chinese immigrants. This kind of new-age discrimination is rooted in feelings of elitism and conflicts between Chinese and western culture. Second-generation immigrants sometimes discriminate against new immigrants due to their apparent inability to incorporate themselves into the western lifestyle, resulting in labels such as FOB (short for "fresh off the boat").

The name "China", in recent decades, is sometimes taken to refer exclusively to the original political entity under the control of the People's Republic of China, or Mainland China. As a result, in Chinese territories under different systems such as Hong Kong and Macau, places with a Chinese culture and a different government such as Taiwan, and other communities which are culturally Chinese but remain politically distinct in one way or another (such as the Chinese in Malaysia, Indonesia, and the USA), there is significant prejudice and discrimination against mainland Chinese, because of the stigma associated with new, often poor immigrants or that mainland China is controlled by a communist government. In Singapore, although the majority of the population is ethnically Chinese, there is growing resentment towards mainland Chinese who arrive as foreign talents or labourers, as they are perceived to take away jobs from locals. (Note: Singapore is politically distinct from China, Malaysia, and other Southeast Asian countries.)

ee also

*Chinese Massacre of 1871
*Massacre of Lambing Flat
*Jakarta riots of May 1998
*Anti-Chinese legislation in Indonesia
*Malaysian Chinese
*Ethnic Chinese in Mongolia
*Fu Manchu
*Ming the Merciless
*Elsie Sigel


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