Thursday, 22 October 2015


Jeremy Corbyn and his Contribution to Popularising anti-Chinese Racism in Britain

Sukant Chandan
Sons of Malcolm

"At the end, the statement [from the Labour Party on the Corbyn-Xin meeting - SC] said Corbyn “also raised the issues of human rights and the impact of Chinese imports on the UK steel industry”. 
(- source)

For over a week the british mainstream media was provided with plenty of material to attack China on 'human rights' by Jeremy Corbyn, the current leader of the Labour Party. Corbyn threatened to bring up the human rights western/imperialist posture in the meeting with Chinese Communist and country leader Xi Jinping during last night's state banquet, and that is what he did.

For over a one week preceding this Corbyn helped directly to feed anti-Chinese sentiment, and also during the meeting last night also fed the british empire workerist racism towards China by somehow giving it some primary responsibility in relation to the british state's own culpability in creating unemployment and job precariousness in this country.

Corbyn himself is no overt racist, but that is not the point. When you are operating in an imperialist country, especially if your voice has any relative resonance over the masses, not to mention if you are the leader of the opposition party, you must be or should be extremely careful in how you tread in issues pertaining to the Global South, especially countries who have had a recent history of genocide and colonial occupation as did China until 1949, and even after that it was threatened with direct nuclear attack by the USA, and also was surrounded by imperialist genocidal war in the case of the USA and British-led war against Korea in the early 1950s (killing 4 million Koreans), and the British, French and USA war of gencidal war against Vietnam from 1945-1975 (killing 3 million Vietnamese), both of whose struggles China was directly supporting the revolutionary liberation forces.

For Britain amongst other imperialist countries to have conducted such brutal wars against East and South East Asian countries, they had an elaborate construct of racism to justify genocide in the minds of the masses in the west.

China and East Asian people in general are a easy target for racist abuse, particularly suffering a nasty misogynistic abuse from not only white westerners but this has been internalised by non-white westerners as well. Much of this racist nastiness has been and continues to be promoted by the western media and 'entertainment' industry. The sexist-racist slurs against East Asian women is pretty much normalised in the west, which also dovetails the western imperialist rape industry whereby it is normalised for western men to go to East and South East Asia to conduct rape and sexual assault on an industrial level.

Within the 'UK' itself, racism towards East and South East Asian people is massive, but little known and talked about. Racist physical attacks are frequent, especially towards East Asian people residing in smaller towns and villages where their low numbers makes it easier for them to be attacked.

The issue of anti-Chinese racism in the west and in Britain is sadly often erased out of existence, downplayed or just ignored. There are many reasons why this is the case, but part of the confusion and ignorance around this is the false notion that because China is doing relatively well in terms of poverty reduction, infrastructure development and and increased involvement in supporting the Global South across the world, that somehow Chinese people are protected in the west and in the UK. It's not true.

And this thinking can indirectly contribute to a lack of resistance towards and support in pushing back this largely unaddressed racism against our East Asian peoples here. This is a good report on the issue from leading anti-racist advocacy group The Monitoring Group (in which organisation I happened to be a case worker for over a year in 2012).

There is also an imperialist/colonial emasculation of East Asian men which is another plank in the tool box of colonial and imperialist on-going war against East Asian peoples.

When there East Asian and Chinese people are such easy targets for racist scaegoating and oppression, Corbyn and anyone else need to navigate carefully projecting and publicising their hostility and so-called criticisms of China, lest they feed that centuries long and profound racism. But that is exactly what Corbyn has done.

All this promotion of misogynistic and racist colonial and imperialist stereotypes are rooted with the old British colonial 'yellow peril' racist propaganda, which facilitated their genocidal and usurping and looting actions against the Chinese people since the nineteenth century.

This dehumanisation and assumption that the Chinese people like other colonised people are basically at the level of children or/and animals, and can be exploited, killed and raped at will is an on-going phenomenon of mass consciousness especially amongst Western peoples.

All of this things considered, Corbyn this last week has shown himself to be unwilling to engage positively in this framework of colonialism, imperialism and racism towards China. Instead he has stoked the flames of anti-Chinese prejudice and racism on this island by threatening to raise the new 'white man's burden' against the Chinese leadership: human rights imperialism.

It is the first rule of global solidarity that people in the west desist from acting out in a colonially arrogant manner and respect the indepdencence of non-western countries, and resist the urge to negatively interfere in their own affairs especially when it is done in such a colonially ignorant and arrogant fashion. The fundamental first rule of global solidarity is to fight especially 'one's' own imperialist state in relation to the countries that the imperialist state is targeting. To campaign consistently against any historical or current or planned imperialist tricks, intrigue and oppression that your own state is rolling out against the Chinese and other peoples. On this, Corbyn fails as he is quite profoundly imbued with colonial prejudices.

For over one week Corbyn has helped to raise hatred against the Chinese in quite direct implication that the Chinese are responsible for the economies woes of workers here, and that the Chinese are somehow unable to constructively and positively address the human rights of their own people.

Corbyn did not have to do that, but he chose to. It has been Corbyn that has been threatening to raise these issues with Xhi Jinping which he did last night, and as although the government here and media have also similarly promoted this human rights imperialism and racism towards China, it was Corbyn who was the only high level politician who raised this issue with the Chinese leadership during the four day state visit here. As such on this issue Corbyn stands to the right of the Tories and even the queen, as it was the tories and other right wing elements of the political class that put pressure on Corbyn to refrain from developing this diplomatic spat with the Chinese.

There are also some very tiny political forces around Corbyn who are in general somewhat luke-warm to positive about China, these include the socialist action sect, the communist party and a few individuals. None of these tiny political forces close to Corbyn and who are somewhat pro-China managed to stop him from raising 'human rights' and 'why you Chinese taking our jobs' nonsense. Such is the influence of these groups on issues that matter most to billions of people who happen to not be in the european white world.

Unfortunately, it was not only Corbyn that acted in such a manner. It also has to be stated that the Scottish National Party (SNP) and Nicola Sturgeon treated the Chinese in a similar colonial manner in which westminster and the english elites treat the Scots by failing to attend the state banquet in honour of the Chinese last night. To quote Alex Salmond in another context, it was 'infantile' of Sturgeon to have done that, and this also helped to encourage prejudice against the Chinese. This is that much more disappointing as clearly Alex Salmond and other colleagues in the leadership of the SNP are very close politically to the Chinese leadership. One hopes that the SNP and Scottish independence oriented Scots who I am loyal to can reflect on the colonial dynamics of snubbing the Chinese and how that reflects their own legitimate gripes with English colonialism and arrogance towards the indy movement and peoples in Scotland.

In Chinese reports on meetings with Corbyn, they have as to be expected tried to give it the most positive spin possible, as this is diplomacy and it would be very undignified for the Chinese to have to respond with anything that smacks of terseness and irritability when they are being feted by the british state. One should not read the diplomatic comments to reflect the actual actions and to base political analysis and judgement on that.

Corbyn is hostile to every single country in Africa and Asia. He supports British war sanctions against Eritrea (easily verified by checking the parliamentary voting record online), he has helped to demonise the Libyan Jamahirya and the Syrian government while it has been the target for imperialist divide and ruin and death squad destruction led by the British state. Saying some nice things about relatively poor people on this island but treating in a colonially arrogant manner the Scots, Eritreans, Libyans, Syrians and Chinese is not 'progressive' or 'socialist' politics. Those of us who are not politically (or financially!) corrupted by the 'left wing' of the imperialist system must speak with a clear voice that we do not agree with this racist and colonial treatment of our own people. We deserve better.

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