Posted: 22nd April 2020During the meeting, several delegates mentioned interesting links that could be viewed. They are detailed below.
AIDS FOR DIGITAL CAMPAIGNING
Want to learn some digital skills to help you through social isolation?
Hannah Kemp-Welch, London CND’s staff member is holding social media training session every Wednesday at 3pm. They’re informal, with plenty of opportunity to stop and ask questions. They last for up to an hour, covering one element of social media each week: Twitter, Facebook, Canva, Eventbrite, Mailchimp, Zoom, YouTube – and anything else our ‘trainees’ might come up with. Hannah’s a social media professional, and a whiz at friendly and supportive training methods. To sign up, email her at [email protected]
Need a virtual speaker for your local meeting?
Every Friday, we’ll be posting a 10-minute video on our website, part of our mini Teach-In series. No longer than 10 minutes in length, each will focus on providing a jargon-free introduction to a single theme. They make an ideal ‘speaker’ for local groups to hold virtual meetings, or simply watch at home to update yourself on a particular topic. The first two are already in place, Kate Hudson on Covid19 and Trident, and Dave Webb, What’s new with Trident, and several more are in the pipeline. Download them from our YouTube channel or visit our website at www.londoncnd.org
Society for Anglo-Chinese Understanding
As China’s battle with the Coronavirus goes global, the need to understand China better has become pressing. Of greatest concern is the worrying acceptance of flawed images of China and the Chinese people, which has led to abuse – racial bullying and even violent attacks – in Britain and elsewhere. We are now facing a new phase of the ’Yellow Peril’ scare where demonization of China is becoming a fact of everyday life. Sinophobia is becoming a part of mainstream discourse, especially in the US post-2016. It may well get worse due to economic factors and the government trying to avoid blame for the outbreak. American politicians repeatedly refer to the ‘Wuhan virus’ or the ‘China plague’, with President Trump leading the way, whilst media outlets have also stoked hostility, most notably the Wall Street Journal’s infamous ‘Sick Man of Asia’ editorial. This all may come to haunt us even after the virus has disappeared.
China’s response to the outbreak with the extensive quarantine of Wuhan and several other Chinese cities, has also called our understanding of China into question. It is not just about overt racism: ignorance, prejudice and stereotyping are rife. The fact is that, with efforts from above and below, China has been able to mobilise its people to meet a common objective, unlikely ever to be achieved in a Western society less insistent on collective obligations. The common perception is of China as a homogenous mass, with the people possessing little agency, acting more akin to automatons than humans. This has often gone hand in hand with the fears of being overwhelmed by China, which have contributed to dehumanising the Chinese and further clouding our understanding of China.
China is now sending medical supplies and personnel to assist other countries struck by the virus, including Britain. European states have expressed their gratitude – Serbia’s President, faced with the EU block on the export of medical supplies, was moved to declare that ‘only China can help us in this situation’. Even local Chinese communities are making efforts: a Chinese restaurant owner in Brighton promised to donate 500 masks to demonstrate that the Chinese are here to help as well as to counter the negative stereotypes of Chinese during the outbreak.
Italy and Spain and many other countries are now adopting a response that is more akin to China’s than the US, even Boris Johnson appears to be moving in that direction. Doctors from Wuhan claim that Europe has been making many of the same mistakes as the Wuhan government. Only by understanding and learning from both the successes and failings of China’s handling of the virus, can we be better prepared to tackle it.
As much as the blatant racism of President Trump and the WSJ is deplorable, it is also divisive and dangerous. International cooperation is desperately needed – cooperation on research to develop a vaccine; coordination to manage the damage to the world economy. The WHO has praised the effective measures taken by China, calling on the world to learn from the country’s enormous sacrifices made to stop the virus from spreading to the rest of the world. China itself is calling for joint efforts to minimise the spread of the virus, improve global health governance, and help developing countries.
Through their sacrifices, the Chinese nation and Chinese people have bought the world time to prepare for the inevitable arrival of the virus. This should not be squandered on cynical, politically motivated slurs aimed at accumulating cheap political capital or lost in ignorance of China. We do so now at our own peril. It is time to confront and dispel the common myths about China. By seeking unity at this time of need, the sacrifices of the Chinese people will not have been in vain.