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Chinese Neo-Colonialism and Great Han Chauvinism in New Zealand

Copyright: Peter Zohrab 2002

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An Egg Should Never Argue With a Stone.

In the early 1970's, I was Secretary of the University of York branch of the Society for Anglo-Chinese Understanding (SACU). Later, I was a long-time member of the New Zealand-China Friendship Society. I have seen China change from an idealistic, if brutal, country, where you you weren't allowed to say anything bad about the Cultural Revolution, to a -- still brutal -- country, where "To Be Rich is Glorious" (a quote from Deng Xiaoping) is the main ideology, and you aren't allowed to say anything good about the Cultural Revolution. One thing that the Cultural Revolution fought against was “Great Han Chauvinism” (Da Hanzuzhuyi) -- Chinese majority racism. See also: http://www.uyghuramerican.org/researchanalysis/unfulfilledpromise.html and http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/whitepaper/4(7).html .

In New Zealand, as a teacher of Mandarin Chinese (as an international language), I found that bullying was a major activity of Chinese people in New Zealand, as they enjoyed China's march towards big-power status -- see, for example, the photograph of the restaurant (in Wellington, New Zealand), above, with its brazenly intimidatory slogan ("An Egg Should Never Argue With A Stone"). Some ethnic Cantonese -- native speakers of Cantonese, who are visibly different from Northern Chinese native speakers of Mandarin -- acted as if they had ownership rights over me.

Their ownership rights were enforced by my boss, Maggie Friend. My Mandarin teaching colleague, Ms. Ying Li, even threatened to have me beaten up -- no doubt encouraged by the beating up of a New Zealander for refusing to sell a number-plate to a Chinese man ! The Chinese in tiny New Zealand classify as "racist" any non-Chinese who is insufficiently deferential, and people in the New Zealand Establishment, hyper-aware of Chinese economic and military power, have cottoned onto this very fast (like the Thais and others before them).

Another "charming" feature of the Chinese in New Zealand (whether they be visiting students or resident Chinese), is their tendency to "accidentally" drop the words "bomb" or "war" into their utterances. One of my Cantonese students of Mandarin (by correspondence) blew into her tape-recorder's microphone, at the time of the last, well-publicised French nuclear tests in the Pacific, producing a good simulation of the sound of a nuclear blast !

New Zealanders and Australians have always feared the "Yellow Peril", because of the obvious disparities in population densities, and, while they were under the protection of the British Empire, New Zealand reacted by imposing an (obviously racist) poll tax on Chinese immigrants -- and Australia had a "White Australia" policy. Now the British can no longer protect New Zealand, and so attempts to shut Chinese people out have changed into attempts to appease them.

Amongst Ghosts

The point here is not so say that Chinese people are more racist than are Whites, Maoris, or other races. As a multilingual, ethnically mixed, intelligent, and much-travelled person, I can state categorically that every race is potentially equally racist -- their racism just becomes more obvious when their power increases, as Chinese power has been increasing in New Zealand in recent years. If this was popularly acknowledged, there would be no need for this page.

The trouble is that ethnic minorities in White-majority countries profit from an ideology propounded by the Media-University Complex (MUC), according to which it is, in practice, implicit that only Whites are racist (and only men are sexist). This allows these minorities to be as racist as they naturally are, with the automatic presumption that they are in the right in any dispute with a member of the majority Whites.

An example of this double-standard on racism is the book "Among Ghosts" (see image above), written by a Cantonese New Zealander and published by "Learning Media", the Government's main educational publisher. Not only is the racist term "Ghosts" (which is a well-known Chinese racist term for pale-skinned Whites) not banned or criticised by the New Zealand authorities -- it was actually taught in schools as an exercise in multi-culturalism !

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6 August 2015

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