Lord Alton has called on society to be watchful for an increase in anti-Chinese hate crimes.
His comments come after an NHS worker was abused for being ‘Chinese’ while working at University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust, and the Covid-19 Anti-Racism Group (CARG) said it was witnessing a rise in hate speech online directed against the Chinese community. It is believed this has been fuelled by news stories on Chinese abuse of Uighur Muslims, repression in Hong Kong and military aggression by China towards its Asian neighbours, all of which have increased hostility towards the Asian superpower.
But Lord David Alton has suggested that those who feel any resentment should direct it at the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), as he cited a large number of its “hateful” acts, including genocide, persecution and oppression, of which many Chinese people find themselves victims.
“By definition, hate crimes have no place in a decent or civilised society. The targeting of Chinese people would be an outrage which should be answered with the full force of the law,” he told The Catholic Universe. “Chinese people contribute richly to our society. It doesn’t take much intelligence to know the difference between Chinese people and the Chinese Communist Party – which has done so much to oppress the people of China and caused so much suffering.
“It’s what the CCP does which is hateful, not Chinese people.”
Lord Alton said that the CCP has many questions to answer about the origins of the coronavirus, the genocide of the Uighur and Tibetan peoples, the persecution of religion and its policies in Hong Kong.
He was also critical of its “coercive abortions and sterilisations of women”, while “its signature is writ large over the destruction of Hong Kong’s freedoms.
“But if people want to be angry let them direct their righteous anger at the CCP – not at Chinese people.”
Bishop Paul McAleenan, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England & Wales’ (CBCEW) Lead Bishop for Racial Justice, said that the Covid-19 pandemic has affected the whole of society and in particular those from ethnic minority communities, whose affliction is now being compounded by incidents of racism.
“As Catholics we have a responsibility to confront prejudice, actively promote racial justice, and champion those who have come from all over the world to make such an important contribution to our society,” he told The Catholic Universe.
Bishop Paul Mason, the CBCEW’s Lead Bishop for Healthcare, agreed, adding that the story of the NHS worker who suffered abuse at work was particularly worrying. “The NHS is made up of a diverse workforce and there is no room for discrimination of any kind towards those who have come to live, work, and contribute to society in this country.”
Picture: Brutal scenes from Hong Kong of Chinese police suppressing pro-democracy demonstrations have fuelled anti-Chinese sentiment in the UK, observers claim.