While racism exists within society and within this world of the coronavirus, so does the double standards that the CCP has implemented within China and the World Health Organization. Since the virus has become a pandemic, much of what the CCP broadcasts is that, in recent months, their economies are recovering, their people are getting better, and outbreaks are decreasing. While, to an extent, this is true—recoveries are going up, people are getting better, and shops are re-opening; face still plays a huge role in this image the CCP portrays. While many Chinese can go outside and return to some normalcy, the government overplays the extent of this. They have used the WHO to switch the narrative of the virus to racism toward the Chinese people, as well as east Asians globally, and to portray a recovering and controlled economy, while targeting those of different races within China.
While the narrative is still true that the virus has displayed huge stigma and racism toward Asian American individuals, it is also true that within China, there is a growing double-standard. The WHO announced that the stigma surrounding the virus is more deadly than the virus itself, although with a worldwide death count of over two-hundred thousand, this may be misleading. Many theorize the WHO is covering for the CCP, and although not black-and-white, it may be true. The world’s narrative has shifted from a ‘derogatory’ name for the virus, such as the China Virus, to COVID-19. This is not a bad thing, since we have already seen racism played out with previous diseases and viruses, yet it takes pressure off the Chinese government, allowing them to act freely within their circle.
Since the need for masks has increased, it is rumored that the Chinese government is aiding those who want to buy masks in bulk, to horde them for the Chinese people and resell them later for profit. Chinese manufacturers, including those who make masks for international companies such as 3M, have been banned from exporting their goods worldwide. The Chinese government has said that this was to protect their own citizens and stop the spread of the virus, however, since their country has seen slight improvements, they have not moved to aid other countries in worse situations. Large companies that relied on Chinese manufactures have been forced to find another source of production in a time when masks are needed even more rampantly. For those within China, there is an equal demand for masks. While an outsider will anger and believe that China is hording masks and protective equipment for their people, this is not the case. Often, the shipments of masks in bulk and those produced in China’s factories are distributed among government officials and kept from its people, leaving their people to rely on internal markets for the garment and aid from overseas.
In tandem with this, a prejudicial purge of those who are not Chinese within China has arisen. For those in interracial marriages, a spouse who is not Chinese may find he or she cannot get proper medical treatment during this time, often being turned away from hospitals because of a fear they will spread the virus more. Foreigners are being targeted and tested for the virus, while those around them who are native to China are not forced to take these tests. Areas with higher amounts of African American residents have been victims of eviction from their hotels, forced to quarantine or leave China because of their race. Online, propaganda targeting foreigners are growing, overlooked by the government, that show foreigners as dirty and rubbish. This has led to an increased number of attacks and verbal abuse foreigners are experiencing in China. Similar to what we have seen within North America and Europe, racism is growing more and more prevalent within our daily lives and hostilities toward other races based solely on nationality or ethnicity have grown, fueled by media and propaganda displayed publicly. While many will not subscribe to these beliefs, there are those who will act upon a fear for the ‘other’, a foreign individual.