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China: Racial Rethinking As Obama Visits

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by Ab-Titchaz, Nov 15, 2009.

  1. Ab-Titchaz

    Ab-Titchaz Content Manager Staff Member

    Nov 15, 2009
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    Racial rethinking as Obama visits

    Increasing diversity, born out of boom, forces Chinese to confront old prejudices

    By Keith B. Richburg
    Washington Post Foreign Service
    Sunday, November 15, 2009

    SHANGHAI -- As a mixed-race girl growing up in this most cosmopolitan of mainland Chinese cities, 20-year-old Lou Jing said she never experienced much discrimination -- curiosity and questions, but never hostility.

    So nothing prepared Lou, whose father is a black American, for the furor that erupted in late August when she beat out thousands of other young women on "Go! Oriental Angel," a televised talent show. Angry Internet posters called her a "black chimpanzee" and worse. One called for all blacks in China to be deported.

    As the country gets ready to welcome the first African American U.S. president, whose first official visit here starts Sunday, the Chinese are confronting their attitudes toward race, including some deeply held prejudices about black people.

    Many appeared stunned that Americans had elected a black man, and President Obama's visit has underscored Chinese ambivalence about the growing numbers of blacks living here.

    "It's sad," Lou said, her eyes welling up as she recalled her experience. "If I had a face that was half-Chinese and half-white, I wouldn't have gotten that criticism. . . . Before the contest, I didn't realize these kinds of attitudes existed."

    As China has expanded its economic ties with Africa -- trade between them reached $107 billion last year -- the number of Africans living here has exploded. Tens of thousands have flocked to the south, where they are putting down roots, establishing communities, marrying Chinese women and having children.

    In the process, they are making tiny pockets of urban China more racially diverse -- and forcing the Chinese to deal with issues of racial discrimination. In the southern city of Guangzhou, where residents refer to one downtown neighborhood as Chocolate City, local newspapers have been filled in recent months with stories detailing discrimination and alleging police harassment against the African community.

    "In Guangzhou, to be frank, they don't like Africans very much," said Diallo Abdual, 26, who came to China from Guinea 1 1/2 years ago to buy cheap Chinese clothes to ship back to West Africa for sale.

    With the recession, his business has dried up, his money is gone, and he has overstayed his visa. Now, like many Africans here, he spends most of his days at Guangzhou's Tangqi shopping mall avoiding the police.

    "The security will beat you with irons like you are a goat," he said. "The way they treat the blacks is very, very bad." He and others pointed out the spot where in July several Africans jumped from an upper-floor window to escape an immigration raid. One migrant was reported critically injured in the fall, and a large number of Africans marched on the local police station in protest.

    The Guangzhou Security Bureau said in a statement at the time that it had a duty to check that foreigners living in the city were there legally.

    [FONT=Arial,Helvetica]Long-held prejudice[/FONT]

    In the 1960s, China began befriending African countries, supporting liberation movements in Africa and bringing African students to China in a show of Third World solidarity. Lately, China has further deepened its ties to the continent, with Premier Wen Jiabao pledging $10 billion in new low-cost loans at a China-Africa summit in Egypt last week.

    But that official policy of friendship has always been balanced against another reality -- the widely held view here that black people are inferior, that white people are wealthy and successful.

    Source: Washington Post
  2. MziziMkavu

    MziziMkavu JF-Expert Member

    Nov 16, 2009
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    Obama goes to Beijing

    Fri Nov 13, 2009 11:30am EST

    [-] Text [+]


    Related News

    Five world markets themes in the coming week 13 Nov 2009

    By Jeremy Gaunt, European Investment Correspondent
    LONDON (Reuters) - The dollar's long-term decline as the world's dominant currency will be on display next week when Barack Obama visits China, pledging to address what he sees as a "deeply imbalanced" economic and financial relationship.
    Investors can probably sleep easy about any nightmare scenario unfolding -- China deciding suddenly to float its yuan currency, for example, or to sell its U.S. Treasuries and buy up a bunch of euros and other coinage with its huge current account surplus.
    Such moves would be immense, sinking the already battered dollar, kicking U.S. borrowing costs skywards and driving up currencies in regions struggling to get out of recession.
    But the various components of this will at least be aired.
    The U.S. president has pledged to discuss the two countries' imbalances, which include a yawning trade gap and huge Chinese holdings of U.S. debt.
    Much focus, accordingly, will be on China's managed exchange rate to the dollar, widely viewed in Washington as being significantly undervalued at around 6.83 yuan to the dollar.
    Although China insists that it is constantly seeking to perfect its exchange rate, it has barely moved in the past year.
    So the potential for a "gesture" to Obama on his visit could keep investors, and forex traders in particular, on their toes.
    Then again -- as Thanos Papasavvas, head of currency management at Investec Asset Management, says -- it may be that the "gesture" has already been made.
    The People's Bank of China said this week it would base FX changes on capital flows and fluctuations in the values of major currencies. But departing from past language, the central bank did not mention that it would keep the yuan basically stable.
    "The fact that they have identified that something needs to be done is itself an action point," Papasavvas said. "We think they will continue their appreciation program next year. I don't thing it means anything dramatic."
    Whatever the outcome of Obama's trip, it comes at a time when the dollar is struggling -- with all the implications that has for everything from more costly euro zone exports just as the bloc is exiting recession to potential currency losses for foreign investors in U.S. stocks and bonds.
    The U.S. currency was trading around 15-month lows against a basket of major competitors this week. The euro was also driven up above $1.50 for a time.
    The latest weekly data from fund trackers EPFR Global shows about $7 billion being poured into U.S. equity funds, although the firm said only about 7 percent of it came from non-U.S. domiciled funds. Continued...
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  3. Omuregi Wasu

    Omuregi Wasu JF-Expert Member

    Nov 16, 2009
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    hii story ni ya kweli kabisa. Tunatakiwa tufanyekazi kwa bidii ili tujenge uchumi wetu maana si unaona watu (blacks) wanavyozamia Guangzhou na kukosa shughuli za kufanya .... upuuzi mtupu wanafanya! Warudi kwao ili nasi blacks tuheshimike.... usipojiheshimu nani atakuheshimu?

    Sina hakika kama ujio wa Obama utaleta badiliko la mitazamo ya kichina kwa watu weusi. We [blacks] ndo tutaleta mabadiliko ya kweli kwa fikra za kichina... maana tunatakiwa kuonesha kuwa tuko fresh...
  4. Omuregi Wasu

    Omuregi Wasu JF-Expert Member

    Nov 16, 2009
    Joined: May 21, 2009
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    Mungu wangu we!!!

    Nami mtoto wangu atabaguliwa hivyo?