• Asian racism in US & the AngloSaxon world

    Asian racism: Does the Fu Manchu myth still haunt Western thinking? 白人對亞洲人的種族主義:傅滿洲神話是否仍然困擾著西方思想? By Elizabeth Mearns 03-22-23


    When we think about racism in Europe and America we grapple with images of the slave trade, the horror of the holocaust and more recently Islamophobia. We think little about the problem of racism against Asians.

    But in 2020, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic saw an explosion of anti-Asian hate that took many in the West by surprise. Conspiracy theories about China’s role in the pandemic were everywhere, being trotted out by world leaders and trusted media establishments.

    Since then, China has again become routinely described as a ‘threat’ by media and politicians – and now old stereotypes are freely discussed amongst people who would not consider themselves racists. So how much of this is real and how much is based on anti-Asian racism that can be traced back hundreds of years?

    The insidious Fu Manchu

    Fu Manchu is a fictional character created by Arthur Ward, a music hall writer and journalist in London in the early 1900s. Writing under the pseudonym Sax Rohmer, Ward had absolutely no knowledge of Chinese culture or Chinese people – but his invention of a Chinese supervillain struck a chord in Victorian Britain and became a smash hit.

    Fu Manchu was the original fictional Asian villain, a trope which became embedded in popular culture and Western psyche spawning spin-offs, spoofs, pop songs, video games and even consumer goods. But how damaging is Fu Manchu and how much can he tell us about modern Asian racism?

    As a small-time journalist, Ward was on an assignment to London’s Chinatown in 1912 when he saw a well-dressed Chinese businessman enter a downmarket teahouse – giving Ward the idea that would change his life.

    Ward wrote Fu Manchu as the personification of the so-called Yellow Peril threat: exotic, alien and inhuman, a mastermind boasting degrees from top universities. Using sinister powers to control minds, he aimed to undermine Western civilisation.

    At the time, London’s Chinatown was in the dockside Limehouse area and home to just a couple of hundred Chinese people, predominantly seamen and their families. However, the story struck a chord with British society, says Jenny Clegg, author of Fu Manchu and the Yellow Peril: The Making of a Racist Myth.

    “The origins go back to the Yellow Peril scares, which spread around America and Europe from the 1880s,” she tells CGTN. “It’s interesting to see how Arthur Ward used the kind of stereotypes that were fueling these scares in the character of Fu Manchu, who was portrayed as the leader of the soulless, unruly hordes from China.”

    China was in the global news: In 1911, Sun Yat-sen – a statesman still widely revered, and now known as the Forerunner of the Revolution – had come to power with the overthrow of China’s last imperial dynasty. Established powers elsewhere in the world were uneasy at this change.

    “The British banks and the financiers were expanding into China,” says Clegg, “and then this sudden collapse of the Qing dynasty and the rise of a nationalist was seen as a matter of great concern.”

    Tapping into tropes

    Fu Manchu – a powerful leader bent on world domination – was an extrapolation and exploitation of this fear. Before writing the character, Ward had never met a Chinese person, let alone been to China; his concoction was based on racial stereotypes from early visitors to China – missionaries, traders, soldiers and adventurers.

    Ward was particularly besotted with Bayard Taylor, an American writer who believed in the pseudoscience of physiognomy – that human appearance and character are intrinsically linked. Taylor saw in the Chinese race “deeps of depravity so shocking and horrible, that their character cannot even be hinted.”

    Meanwhile, British traders and missionaries mistook Chinese Confucian restraint of emotional display to be indifference and even cruelty.

    “This led to the idea that the Chinese were deceiving – they weren’t being honest, they weren’t revealing who they really are as people,” says Clegg. “This spawned into stories of Chinese as cheats and liars and deceitful – never giving you the truth, always fabricating.”

    Imagine a person, tall, lean and feline, high-shouldered, with a brow like Shakespeare and a face like Satan, a close-shaven skull, and long, magnetic eyes of the true cat-green

    • Sax Rohmer, The Insidious Dr. Fu-Manchu
      Late 19th-century sensational fiction in the UK had sparked an obsession with so-called Chinese tortures; to this day, phrases like ‘Chinese burns’ (the twisting of the skin on the arm) and ‘Chinese water torture’ (in which the victim is driven to psychosis by slow dripping onto the body – a torture first described in Italy) remain widely used.

    “These kinds of things still circulate,” says Clegg, “and give rise to notions of the Chinese as being particularly brutal and using all kinds of repressive means.”

    Clegg also notes that religious missionaries had a fundamental reason to speak ill of the Chinese: “They didn’t find it so easy to convert Chinese people into Christians, so this gave rise to the idea that the Chinese were soulless and not really human.

    “All of these things accumulated together and they concentrated into this figure of Fu Manchu – the ultimate threat to humanity and to Western civilization.”

    Drugs and science

    While few Chinese people lived in the UK, Britons were having more contact as trade grew between the nations, often on steamships predominantly manned by Chinese seamen.

    That trade had also engendered another stereotype. In the 19th century Britain had fought two “opium wars” against China to enforce its right to trade the narcotic to Chinese people, often in exchange for goods popular back in Britain.

    This drug-pushing was justified by blaming the buyers, says Clegg: “That the Chinese were particularly susceptible to drug taking. And this inverted itself into an association of the Chinese with drugs.”

    But if the British demonized the Chinese as drug users, they also distrusted intelligence. Fu Manchu was created as a sinister genius – a scientist, a doctor with degrees from top universities all over the world.

    “He’s a master not only of the occult but of Western sciences ‘with all the modern technologies at his disposal’ – a combination which makes him doubly threatening,” says Clegg.

    This also preyed on fears of the future in a world of rapidly advancing technology: “We know the power of science, which must be balanced with ethics to be put to good use – but what if science should fall into the wrong hands?”

    And the Fu Manchu stories certainly show he is on a mission to change the world. From his base in London’s Chinatown he plots to assassinate leading British politicians, scientists and diplomats to destroy the British Empire.

    A powerful negative image

    Deception, depravity, torture, drug addiction and sinister intelligence – it all adds up to a powerful negative image of the Chinese, says Clegg.

    “These popular stereotypes went very, very deep into the white psyche, and were part of the creation of white identity from the beginning of the 20th century – an identification with race rather than with other identities like class.”

    Racist tropes were also widely prevalent against black people, but Clegg notes the novelist’s masterstroke in heightening fears by creating a fictional figure who could threaten Anglo-Saxon hegemony.

    “What Arthur Ward did was to give these non-white races a leader,” she says. “That was what was so powerful – and that was what took off.”

    And take off it did: Over the next half-century Fu Manchu stories leapt from print to radio and on to Hollywood. Ward made so much money that he took to signing his name with a dollar sign. But the evil-genius trope was so popular that the police became suspicious of British Chinese communities, says Clegg.

    “There was an investigation of the Chinese community in Liverpool, trying to find out if they were all dealing in drugs and running gambling establishments – and the investigation found absolutely nothing.

    “They were law-abiding, there were many Liverpool women who were happily married to a Chinese man and said they were good husbands. They couldn’t find anything.”

    But suspicion still grew. “It continued to build up into this terrible hunt of Chinese leaders and businessmen. People were repatriated. It was damaging to the Chinese community – they had to keep their heads down.”

    WATCH: The Secret Betrayal – How the UK ejected the Chinese WWII sailors who had risked their lives

    LISTEN: The Secret Betrayal podcast series

    The stereotypes persist

    Does the sinister shadow of Fu Manchu still linger, a century after Ward’s first book? Clegg detects a significant lasting legacy.

    “We see it today – the reporting in the media, in what politicians are saying about China: They’re saying ‘The Chinese will take over the world.’ You go back to the stories of Fu Manchu 100 years ago, and the Chinese were supposed to be taking over the world.”

    She also notes the reappearance of the ‘sinister scientist’ trope. “Fu Manchu had degrees from universities all over the West, and he was always experimenting with drugs and potions to hypnotize and control people’s minds. And this feeds directly into the Wuhan lab theory – it’s so blatant the way these themes are regurgitated.”

    Men of Asia! The skies are red with the thunderbolts of Genghis Khan! They rain down on the white race… and burn them!

    • Boris Karloff as Dr. Fu Manchu in The Mask of Fu Manchu (1932)

    Clegg believes this still affects Chinese people living in Europe and the U.S. today.

    “They’re seen as accomplices and have to be kept under surveillance,” she says. “The Confucius Institutes in our universities are swamped with paperwork, in freedom of information. You know that it’s a very, very difficult situation for people.”

    Clegg also sees Fu Manchu’s influence lingering in the attitudes of today’s world leaders.

    “Rishi Sunak talking about ‘The Chinese have a different value system’ – the implication is that they’re a threat to our values… the threat is to Western civilization. This is a theme directly from Fu Manchu.”

    READ MORE: What’s it like to be Chinese growing up in the UK?

    Exorcising the phantom Fu Manchu

    Of course, racism is nothing new. Jenny Clegg, author of Fu Manchu and the Yellow Peril: The Making of a Racist Myth, believes we should read our history so we can make sure we’re not falling for age-old racist stereotyping.

    “What people should do is examine what is going on with these kinds of stereotypes,” she says. “Learn more about the Fu Manchu myth and where it came from. Because it’s powerful to contrast the image that’s being portrayed in the media that China is determined to take over the world – this idea has got roots that go back 100 years, it’s not something new.

    “We really need to distinguish fact from fiction and understand that a lot of what is being portrayed is more a regurgitation of our old ideas and misperceptions rather than anything that is really about China and Chinese people.”

    The ancient cultures of Europe and China are indeed different, but conflict is not inevitable as long as we can try to see the similarities between people and the values that other communities share.

    Far too often – and arguably increasingly so in the age of social media – humans focus on differences rather than similarities. Using those differences as the basis for assumptions of superiority is a dangerous thing; as author Ian Leslie points out in his book Conflicted: Why Arguments Are Tearing Us Apart and How They Can Bring Us Together, “Behind every disagreement is a clash of cultures that seem strange to each other. Don’t assume that yours is the normal one.”

    For Clegg, the greatest weapon against ‘othering’ people is personally making an effort to understand the real China and real Chinese people.

    “There are differences, but that doesn’t mean to say that Chinese people are evil or Chinese people are a threat – they just do things differently,” she says. “The fact that the Chinese go about doing things in a different way, it can be enriching and rewarding and we need to learn more.

    “And we need to get to know China better because there are so many things that we have in common. We share the planet and live together in a globalized world.”

    Titan Books, which still publishes Fu Manchu titles, declined to comment for this article.

  • Is the unrest in Israel at a critical point?

    SF Singtao Newspaper TV Commentary – Yu Fei video: Is the unrest in Israel at a critical point? What does the establishment of the “National Guard” mean? UAE is following Saudi Arabia in the selection of successor 美國加州舊金山星𡷊電視快評 – 余非:以色列動亂處於臨界點?建立「國民警衛隊」代表甚麼?這方面,阿聯酋也緊跟沙特了!

    而不知道是不是出於轉移視線,3月30日凌晨以色列又再空襲敘利亞首都大馬士革,再造成人命傷亡。 以下跟進另一件也很重要的事。眾所周知,沙特國王立了年輕的新王儲之後,國策和外交變化很大。而年輕王儲之所以可以掌權,是國王改變兄宗弟及的繼承法。此事的過程及當中的鬥爭,可重聽我之前的節目,附連結於文末。而由父傳子取代兄終弟及的中東國家,現在多了阿聯酋。當地時間3月29日,阿聯酋總統兼阿布扎比酋長國酋長穆罕默德•本•扎耶德•阿勒納哈揚發佈法令,任命現年41歲的長子哈立德•本•穆罕默德•本•扎耶德為阿布扎比王儲,意味著哈立德會是未來阿聯酋的總統。 由沙特以及阿聯酋的做法反映,大多數海灣君主制國家的繼承方式會變,會由兄終弟及改為父死子繼,看來這已成趨勢。石油國家銳意進行經濟轉型,也希望跟上新時代的發展,他們知道需要交班給年輕一點的人去擔當國家任務。 收結前再多談一則中東訊息。沙特在2022年已表示想加入金磚國集團。2022年9月,沙特、埃及、卡塔爾都已經被上合組織以簽署備忘錄的方式,正式確認為是上合組織對話伙伴地位。而2023年3月,沙特內閣批准了加入上合組織這個決定,即是連國內的程序也完成了。 本集節目旨在跟進中東局勢,一切都在發展中,當中又以以色列的發展最嚴峻。會密切關注各種變化,適時跟大家匯報情況。

  • China is Africa’s true friend

    At Harris stop, Chinese 50 years of friendship shows. “Most African countries are rightly unapologetic about their close ties to China,” Nigeria’s vice president, Yemi Osinbajo. “China shows up where and when the West will not and/or are reluctant.” 非洲展示了中國50年的友誼。尼日利亞副總統耶米·奧辛巴喬 (Yemi Osinbajo) 表示:“大多數非洲國家都對與中國的密切關係毫無歉意。” “中國出現在西方不會和/或不願出現的地方和時間。”

  • Why cannot I be patriotic?

    Donnie Yen: I’m allowed to love my own culture. Love my own country. Why cannot I be patriotic? This whole online cyber-bullying/cancel culture has got to stop. You can’t own somebody’s thoughts. And you want to silence them? It’s totally hypocrites. 甄子丹:我可以熱愛自己的文化。愛我自己的國家。為什麼我不能愛國?整個在線網絡欺凌/取消文化必須停止。你不能擁有別人的想法。你想讓他們閉嘴?這完全是偽君子。

  • China’s Xi is right

    Fyodor Lukyanov: China’s Xi is right, the world is currently undergoing changes not seen for a century. It’s time to buckle up, because the post-WW2 and Cold War systems no longer suit the global order

    By Fyodor Lukyanov, the editor-in-chief of Russia in Global Affairs, chairman of the Presidium of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, and research director of the Valdai International Discussion Club.

    Fyodor Lukyanov: China’s Xi is right, the world is currently undergoing changes not seen for a century

    Humanity has been gripped by a frenzy. The political and military crisis in Europe has captured everyone’s attention, but in global terms it’s only part of a larger picture. The tensions over Ukraine, and even the wider conflict concerning post-Cold War European security, are elements (but not the core reasons) behind a major shift.

    When Chinese President Xi Jinping parted company with Russian President Vladimir Putin last week, it was no coincidence that he remarked that the changes now taking place are the biggest in a century. A hundred years ago, the old world was fast disappearing. Empires were crumbling, the structure of societies was changing, and old ideologies were being radicalized in an attempt to meet people’s needs or point them in the right direction. Two World Wars, a global economic crisis, the resurgence of all sorts of local conflicts, and social experiments – that were generally very costly for the people – were all signs of the very changes the Chinese leader was recalling. No one wants to go through that again. Still, there is hope that certain constraints have emerged in recent decades that will prevent extremes – from nuclear weapons to the ability to respond more flexibly to socio-economic upheavals.

    In recent days, the news has seemed to confirm the seriousness of the tensions. Germany saw its biggest strike for decades, with transport workers protesting against worsening conditions. France is on fire after the government decided to raise the retirement age, bypassing a parliamentary vote as the reform failed to win a majority. In Israel, a violent confrontation has erupted over the cabinet’s intention to curb the powers of the judiciary, which its opponents see as a coup attempt.

    It is clear that each of these events has its own circumstances and that there is no direct link between them. What they have in common is that they are all manifestations of a painful socio-political transformation.

    The second half of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first have been very comfortable times for the world as a whole. In terms of the overall geopolitical arrangement, we saw first a rather strong balance based on bipolar confrontation, then a relatively stable hegemony. But there has also been progress in the social and economic senses.

    Many positive changes took place after the Second World War. The welfare state model spread across most of Europe, and even the United States, with its more modest traditions in this sphere, made great strides. Similar changes also took place on the other side of the Iron Curtain, with a focus on improving living standards and consumer diversity added to the traditional priorities of defence. In the Third World, as colonial possessions were disappearing there was an enthusiasm for freedom and a belief in the future. Even if many of the new states carried little heft.

    The end of the Cold War brought with it new expectations. The ‘free world’ enjoyed a ‘peace dividend’ (reduced military spending) and the opportunity to extend its economic expansion into previously closed areas. The former socialist countries took advantage of the opening up in every way they could and – at least for individuals – there were more opportunities than before. This was often to the detriment of state capacity, but it was believed that this was the general trend – the individual was more important. Eventually, the former Third World tried to take advantage of both. Many countries in Asia, for example, have benefited greatly from globalization. Meanwhile, a lot of people from states which have underachieved have chosen to move to wealthier locations.

    Timofey Bordachev: Why the West’s standoff with Russia and China is a big opportunity for the world’s second-tier powers

    Both periods had one thing in common – a widespread feeling that tomorrow would be better than yesterday. However, now, just like that, it’s over.

    At present, it’s commonplace to accuse political elites of unprofessionalism and bad governance. Without making excuses for individual politicians, the current generation – which grew up in these very favourable conditions – has had to deal with shifts of a tectonic nature.

    The exhaustion of the previous financial model of the capitalist economy, the communications revolution (one of the main results of which is the mental divide between the mature and the young), technological change with inevitable consequences for the labour market, an ageing population in the developed countries, and a rejuvenation in previously troubled states is creating a completely different international environment. Moreover, the interconnectedness of the planet does not allow anyone to isolate themselves from the general instability, which spills over national borders in various forms. Moreover, as was the case a century ago, the growth of socio-political activism among the masses is leading to the radicalization of political groups. And with traditional parties and ideologies in deep crisis, radicalization can take quite archaic forms.

    We will take our cue from Xi, who sees the changes taking place as a sign of necessary renewal. And we will manage the costs somehow.

  • HKSAR govt slams US 2023 HK policy act report as attempt to undermine stability

    HKSAR govt slams US 2023 HK policy act report as attempt to undermine stability March 31 2023

    The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government on Saturday expresses strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition to the fact-twisting remarks and smears of the US State Department report that claims that the Hong Kong National Security Law (NSL)’s effects “undercut Hong Kong freedoms.”

    The HKSAR Government strongly disapproves of and firmly rejects the slandering remarks and ill-intentioned attacks detailed within the US’ so-called 2023 Hong Kong Policy Act Report against Hong Kong where the “One country, Two systems” principle has been successfully implemented, a spokesman for the HKSAR government said in a statement.

    The US State Department on Friday issued the “2023 Hong Kong Policy Act Report,” claiming “the US’ interests in Hong Kong have been threatened.” Since the implementation of the NSL in June 2020, the US has been maliciously slandering the NSL and attacking the HKSAR through the so-called annual reports and other means.

    “The US once again made fact-twisting remarks, with politics overriding the rule of law related to Hong Kong and interfered in Hong Kong affairs which are China’s internal affairs. The US’ attempt to undermine the stability and prosperity of Hong Kong will only expose its own weakness and faulty arguments and is doomed to fail,” the spokesman said.

    The HKSAR government safeguards national sovereignty, security and development interests, and upholds the authority of the NSL for HKSAR, and urges the US to immediately stop acts that do not comply with international laws and basic norms of international relations, and stop interfering in the HKSAR affairs, which are China’s internal affairs, the spokesman said.

    The US has also deliberately neglected the fact that the implementation of the NSL has enabled economic and social activities throughout the Hong Kong community at large to resume as normal and the business environment to be restored. Its bullying act and hypocrisy with double standards are despicable, the spokesman said.

    Facts have convincingly proved that the enactment and implementation of the NSL is fully in line with HKSAR’s reality, and it has played a decisive role in realizing its transformation from chaos to governance and toward strong governance and prosperity, said the Commissioner’s Office of China’s Foreign Ministry in the HKSAR in late January, urging the US to immediately stop its clumsy performance of interfering in China’s domestic affairs.

  • Get high on drug in America

    Get high on drug in America, San Francisco is failing to combat drug dealers & drug addicts. It is a losing battle. 在美國吸毒成癮,美國是吸毒者天堂! 舊金山未能打擊毒販和吸毒者。這是一場失敗的戰鬥.

  • Ma Ying-jeou & English Tsai trips

    Singtao Newspaper SF interview Johnson Choi, President of Hong Kong China Hawaii Chamber of Commerce on Ma Ying-jeou visit to Mainland China 美國加州舊金山星島電台尊訪香港中國夏威夷商會會長蔡永強關於台灣馬英九往中國大陸祭祖之旅

    (The following using Google Translate)

    Johnson Choi, Chairman of the Hong Kong China Hawaii Chamber of Commerce, analyzed Tsai’s transit of the United States and Ma Ying-jeou’s visit to China 2023-03-31

    Johnson Choi, president of the Hong Kong China China Hawaii Chamber of Commerce, recently accepted an exclusive interview with Singtao SF Star TV’s “Hot Spot Watch”. screenshot from video

    Johnson Choi, President of the Hong Kong China Hawaii Chamber of Commerce (HK China Hawaii Chamber of Commerce), recently accepted an online exclusive interview with Shen Chenchen, Manager of the Mandarin Channel of Sing Tao Chinese Radio, on Star TV’s “Hot Spot Watch” program, and analyzed two major events that have occurred on both sides of the Taiwan Strait in recent days-Tsai Ing-wen’s transit The United States and Ma Ying-jeou visited China.

    Johnson Choi said that since Ma Ying-jeou and his family moved to Taiwan in 1952, he has never returned to the mainland, and he is also the first Taiwan leader to visit the mainland in 74 years. He said, “Ma Ying-jeou has been waiting for this day for a long time.” He thinks that Ma Ying-jeou led more than 30 young people to visit the mainland together, which is of great significance, because the exchanges between the youths on both sides of the strait have been interrupted for many years. He said that the two sides of the strait are the most beautiful The landscape is the people, he said, “especially the younger generation, we should not cut off our communication because of political issues.”

    Ma Ying-jeou’s visit to mainland China and Tsai Ing-wen’s stopover in the United States almost coincided, so there are many speculations from the outside world. But Cai Yongqiang said that he had asked friends in Taiwan about this issue, and they said that Ma Ying-jeou’s visit to China to worship ancestors had actually been planned since before the Lunar New Year, because it took some time to make arrangements. But Johnson Choi also said, “After all, Ma Ying-jeou was the former president of Taiwan. It is hard to say what the meaning behind this trip finally collided with Tsai Ing-wen.”

    Johnson Choi believes that “Ma Ying-jeou’s trip is obviously not as simple as offering sacrifices to ancestors.” He said that the special emphasis on ancestor worship may be to avoid too many political associations from the outside world, and there is no stop in Beijing on this trip, so Tsai Ing-wen also express respect for its decision. He also mentioned that in addition to the youth delegation, Ma Ying-jeou was accompanied by his three older sisters and younger sisters.

    Johnson Choi said that it is not a day or two that the relations between Taiwan Strait and China-US are very tense. He believes that China has already made a series of strong reactions when Pelosi visited Taiwan. Because in the past, many leaders of Taiwan have also passed through the United States, he believes that “the impact this time will not be as drastic as Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan.” Our reporter Hong Yuxin reported from San Francisco

    香港夏威夷商會會長蔡永強 分析蔡過境美國馬英九訪陸 2023-03-31

    香港中國夏威夷商會會長蔡永強近日接受星電視《熱點觀察》節目專訪。 來自視頻截圖

    香港中國夏威夷商會(HK China Hawaii Chamber of Commerce)會長蔡永強近日接受星電視《熱點觀察》節目星島中文電台國語台經理沈琛琛線上專訪,分析了近日兩岸發生的兩件大事——蔡英文過境美國以及馬英九訪陸。





  • Mafia & Triads battled in New York

    Mafia & Triads battled in New York 美國二大黑幫在紐約法院鬥法 也是2014 總統大選二大黑幫金主之鬥 我們好好地看這個假民主國家的真正面目!

  • New World Order without the war machine

    Countries expressed their intention to break away from the world order dominated by the US and the West. “While President Biden is floundering, China and Russia seem intent on establishing a new world order in which, unfortunately – has absolutely no room for the US.” 各國紛紛表示要擺脫美國和西方主導的世界秩序。 “在拜登總統舉步維艱的同時,中國和俄羅斯似乎有意建立一個新的世界秩序,不幸的是,在這個新秩序中,美國絕對沒有立足之地。”