From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Racism in the People's Republic of
China is a complex issue influenced by Chinese
history, Chinese nationalism, and many other
||Throughout the ages
Chinese have had only one way of looking at foreigners. We either
look up to them as gods or down on them as wild animals. - Lu Xun
Westerners shown as pig and goat and being exceuted by Manchu
officials, image from the Boxer Rebellion
China's racial composition is overwhelmingly homogeneous with
91.9% of the population being Han Chinese, which by itself is a
convergence of people from diverse origins and races, other
ethnicities includes the Mongols, Zhuang, Miao, Hui, Tibetans,
and Koreans. Of
these, it is not ordinarily possible to directly identify a
person's ethnicity, especially in large urban areas. Some ethnic
groups are more distinguishable due to physical appearances and
relatively low intermarriage rates. Many others have intermarried
with Han Chinese people, and have similar appearances. They are
therefore less distinguishable from Han Chinese people, especially
because a growing number of ethnic minorities are fluent at a
native level in Mandarin Chinese. In addition, children often
adopts "ethnic minority status" at birth if one of their parents is
an ethnic minority, even though their ancestry is overwhelmingly
Han Chinese. There is a growing number of Caucasians, South Asians,
and Africans living in large Chinese cities. Although relatively
few acquire Chinese citizenship, the number of immigrants of from
different racial groups have markedly increased recently due to
China's economic success. There are concentrated pockets of
immigrants and foreign residents in some cities - most notably the
"Chocolate City" of Guangzhou, which reportedly houses around
100,000 people of African origin.
Several clashes between African and Chinese students have
occurred since the the arrival of Africans to Chinese universities
in the 1960s. A
well-documented incident in 1988 featured
Chinese students and the general in widespread against African
students studying in Nanjing. In
2007, police anti-drug crackdowns in Beijing's Sanlitun district were reported to target
people from Africa as
suspected criminals, though police officials denied targeting any
Much anti-Japanese sentiment exists in China, most of it
stemming from Japanese war crimes committed in
the country during the Second Sino-Japanese War. History textbook
revisionism in Japan and the denial or whitewashing of events
such as the Nanking Massacre by right-wing
Japanese groups has continued to inflame anti-Japanese feelings in
China. Allegedly, anti-Japanese sentiment in China is partially the
result of political manipulation by the Communist Party of China.
Anti-Japanese demonstrations were tolerated, if not approved by
the Chinese government, unlike
other demonstrations or "mass incidents" critical of the Chinese
Some have accused the Chinese government as well as certain Han
Chinese citizens of alleged discrimination against the Chinese
was used as a partial explanation for the July 2009 Ürümqi riots which
pitted residents of the city against each other along largely
racial lines. An essay in the People's Daily described the events
as "so-called racial conflict" while
several Western media sources labeled them as "race
In July 2009, a report in the The Atlantic highlighted
a help wanted sign in the traditionally Uyghur city of Kashgar which explicitly stated
that "this offer is for Han Chinese only."
It has also been reported that unofficial Chinese policy is to
deny passports to Uyghurs until they reach retirement age,
especially if they intend to leave the country for the pilgrimage to Mecca.
Against children of
- 半唐番 (Boon Tong Fan)- A tern used by Cantonese to describe
offsprings of inter-racial couples.
- 半菜 (Buai Chai)- A term used by Hokkian-Teo chew people in South
East Asia to describe offsprings of inter-racial couples, literary
Against Africans and
- 黑鬼 (hei guǐ) - "Black devil"
Europeans (Westerners and Russians)
- 洋鬼子 (yáng guǐzi) - "Foreign devil", a slur for White people or Caucasians.
- 鬼佬 (guǐlǎo) - Borrowed from Cantonese "Gweilo", "devil" or "devil guy", a slur for
white people. The term emphasizes the skin color of Caucasians are
very pale compared to the Chinese.
- 红毛猴 (Ang
mo kow) - "Red Hair Monkey", a slur used by Hokkian people to
call white European, because many Europeans have red hair.
- 红毛鬼 (Ang
mo Gui) - "Red hair devil", a Minnan derogatory term used on
- 油炸鬼 (Yao Jar Guai) - "Oil Fried Devil", is a southern Chinese
snack, made from a small piece of dough cooked in hot vegetable
oil. It is supposed to have originated during Opium Wars era, when China was under the
attacks of foreigners.
- 番鬼 (Fan Guai) - a slur is used by people of southern China to
describe foreigners, and 番 (Fan) means "Tribal people". The Minnan and Chaozhou people would used 山番
(mountain tribal people) and 生番 (raw tribal people) to describe
natives and aboriginals.
- 小日本 (xiǎo Rìběn) — Literally "little Japan"(ese). This term is
so common that it has very little impact left (Google Search
returns 21,000,000 results as of August 2007). The term can be used
to refer to either Japan or individual Japanese. "小", or the word
"little", is usually construed as "puny", "lowly" or "small
country", but not "spunky". In northern China and Manchuria, the phrase is
often pronounced as 小日本兒 (xiǎo Rìběnr) and may have a stronger
negative overtone, as a result of the Japanese occupation of
Manchuria and later China.
- 日本鬼子 (Rìběn guǐzi) — Literally "Japanese devils". This is used
mostly in the context of the Second Sino-Japanese War, when
Japan invaded and occupied large areas of China. This is the title
of a Japanese
documentary on Japanese war crimes druring WWII.
- 倭 (Wō) — This was an ancient Chinese name for Japan, but was also
adopted by the Japanese. Today, its usage in Chinese is usually
intended to give a negative connotation (see Wōkòu below). The
character is said to also mean "dwarf", although that
meaning was not apparent when the name was first used. See Wa (Japan).
- 倭寇 (Wōkòu) — Originally referred to Japanese pirates and armed
sea merchants who raided the Chinese coastline during the Ming Dynasty (see Wokou). The term was adopted during
the Second Sino-Japanese War to
refer to invading Japanese forces, (similarly to Germans being
The word is today sometimes used to refer to all Japanese people in
extremely negative contexts.
- 日本狗 (Rìběn gǒu, Cantonese: Yat Boon Gau) — Literally "Japanese
dogs". The word is used to refer to all Japanese people in
extremely negative contexts.
- 大腳盆族 (dà jiǎo pén zú) - Ethnic slur towards Japanese used
prodominantly by Northern Chinese, mainly those from the city of Tianjin. Literally "Big Feet
- 黃軍 (huáng jūn) - Literally "Yellow Soldier(s)", used during
World War II to represent Imperial Japanese soldiers due
to the colour of the uniform. Today, it is used negatively against
all Japanese. Since the stereotype of Japanese soldiers are
commonly portrayed in war-related TV series in China as short men,
with a toothbrush moustache (and sometimes round glasses, in the
case of higher ranks), 黃軍 is also often used to pull jokes on
Chinese people with these characteristics, and thus "appear like"
- 蝗軍 (huáng jūn)-Literally "Locust Army", a pun on the term
皇軍(Japan Imperial Army), because the Imperial Army burn and loot
where ever they went.
- 自慰队 (zì wèi duì) - A pun on the homophone "自卫队" (zì wèi duì,
literally "Self-Defence Forces", see Japan Self-Defense Forces),
the definition of 慰 (wèi) used is "to comfort". This phrase is used
to refer to Japanese (whose military force is known as "自卫队") being
stereotypically hypersexual, as "自慰队" means "Self-comforting
Forces", referring to masturbation.
- 架佬 (Ga Lou)-A neutral term for Japanese used by
Cantonese(especially Hong Kong cantonese), because Japanese use a
lot of "Ga" at the end of a sentence. 架妹 (Ga Mui) is used for
- 高丽棒子 (Gāolì bàng zǐ) - Derogatory term used against all ethnic
Koreans. 高丽 (Traditional: 高麗) refers to Ancient Korea
(Koryo), while 棒子 means
"club" or "corncob", referring to how Koreans
would fit into trousers of the Ancient Koryo design. Sometimes 韓棒子
(hán bàng zǐ, "韓" referring to South Korea) is also used. Additionally,
死棒子 (sǐ bàng zǐ), Literally "dead corncob", is used.
- 二鬼子 (èr guǐ zǐ) - A disparaging designation of puppet armies
and traitors during the Anti-Japanese War of China.Japanese
were known as "鬼子" (devils), and the 二鬼子 literally means "second
devils". During World War II, some Koreans were involved
in Imperial Japanese Army, and so 二鬼子 refers to hanjian and ethnic Koreans. The definition of
二鬼子 has changed throughout time, with modern slang usage entirely
different from its original meaning during World War II and the
subsequent Chinese civil war.
- 阿差 (Ah Cha)-Ah Cha means "Yes" in some Indian languages, is a
derogatory Cantonese term used against Indians. During the
1950s-1970s, there were many Indians working in Hong Kong as
laborers, or doorman, especially doorman for big western
- 毛子 (máo zi) - literally 'body hair', it is a derogatory term
against Caucasian peoples. However, because most white people in
contact with China were Russians before the 19th century, 毛子 became
a derogatory term specifically against Russians.
"A Chinese Pirate
Unmasks". The New Yorker. http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/evanosnos/2009/03/2.html. Retrieved
"China". CIA. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ch.html#People. Retrieved
Guangzhou "Chocolate City":
Africans Seek Their Dreams in China
"Anti-black racism in Post-Mao China" in The China Quarterly, No.
138 (Jun., 1994), pp. 413-437, Cambridge University Press
New York Times
article by Nicholas Kristof
Beijing Newspeak ::
Sanlitun saga update: anti-drug operation uncovers no
- ^ Shirk, Susan (2007-04-05). "China: Fragile Superpower:
How China's Internal Politics Could Derail its Peaceful
Rise". http://www.cceia.org/resources/transcripts/5425.html. Retrieved
"China's anti-Japan rallies
spread". BBC News.
- ^ a
""No Uighurs Need
Apply"". The Atlantic. 10 Jul 2009. http://jamesfallows.theatlantic.com/archives/2009/07/no_uighurs_need_apply.php. Retrieved 12 July
"Uighurs blame 'ethnic
hatred'". Al Jazeera. July 07, 2009. http://english.aljazeera.net/focus/2009/07/20097761931298561.html. Retrieved 12 July
Global Times (10 July 2009). "People’s Daily criticizes
double standards in Western media attitudes to 7.5 incident".
China News Wrap. http://chinanewswrap.com/2009/07/10/peoples-daily-criticizes-double-standards-in-western-media-attitudes-to-75-incident/#more-2398.
original article in
"Race Riots Continue in
China's Far West". Time magazine. http://www.time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,1908981,00.html. Retrieved 13 July
"Deadly race riots put
spotlight on China". The San Francisco Chronicle. July
8, 2009. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/07/08/ED3H18KD53.DTL. Retrieved 13 July
"Three killed in race riots
in western China". The Irish Times. July 6, 2009. http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/world/2009/0706/1224250105483.html. Retrieved 13 July
Hooi, Alexis (2009-07-31). "The disunited colors of
prejudice". China Daily. http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/opinion/2009-07/31/content_8496740.htm. Retrieved 2009-11-24. "Even
now, some Guangzhou residents might admit using the generic and
derogatory term "hei gui" or "black devil" to refer to Africans in
mdbg Chinese English