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China Daily / 2020-02 / 21 / Page008

Epidemical discrimination violates spirit of human rights

By Wang Xigen | China Daily | Updated: 2020-02-21 00:00

The sudden outbreak of the novel coronavirus in China is threatening the lives and health of people in China, and its impacts go beyond the country.

In the spirit of humanitarianism, people from all over the world have offered assistance and cares to China in various ways. With the spread of the epidemic, some countries, however, have made insulting, discriminatory remarks against China and the Chinese people, such as "Coronavirus, made in China","Chinese virus", or "yellow peril", and "China is really the sick man of Asia". Some countries have overreacted by excluding tourists from China or discriminating against local Chinese, which has had a bad influence in the international community, so much so that even some Westerners themselves find it hard to tolerate such acts and condemn them.

Some countries have realized their mistake and made an open apology to China, but some have shown no sense of regret, and even tried to use so-called freedom of speech to whitewash their words and acts. Under the guise of freedom of speech they are violating human rights. Is it fear of the virus, or malicious discrimination against Chinese? In essence, these words and acts have gone far beyond normal preventive measures to curb the spread of the virus or a fearful response to a potential pandemic. They are, in essence, the spread of racial discrimination on the back of such fears, which constitutes exploitation of the epidemic for discrimination that aims to subvert the human rights values of equality and non-discrimination, and challenge the international human rights system.

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