By New Worker correspondent
Following the recent coronavirus outbreak, many countries, organisations and individuals have shown sympathy and support for the Chinese government and its citizens. The British government, businesses, the Chinese community in the UK and Chinese overseas students have also come forward with assistance and donations. But there have also been isolated cases of discrimination against Chinese students in Britain, with one student physically attacked outside a university campus.
On 4th February two student organisations, Universities UK (UUK) and the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA), said: “The health, welfare and safety of students and staff is the top priority for university leaders following the Coronavirus outbreak.
“Our universities have a strong history of welcoming Chinese students and staff to the UK and they are very much part of our international community. UK universities will not tolerate racism in any form, and we encourage students and staff to report any incident of racial harassment and seek support from their university.
“At this difficult time, we ask that students and staff support their friends and fellow colleagues in solidarity with the whole of the international higher education community.”
On the same day, the National Union of Students (NUS) said that the: “NUS believes that all forms of hate and prejudice are unacceptable and shall continue to support students and Student’s Unions on any issues they may face around hate crime and xenophobia. We are very concerned by reports that Chinese students are experiencing discrimination as a result of this situation. We have a continued responsibility to ensure our spaces are inclusive and accessible to all students.”
The Chinese Embassy has called on the government, police and universities to protect Chinese citizens, students and their rights in accordance with law. The Embassy will also provide support and consular protection to Chinese citizens within its areas of competence and in a timely fashion. The Chinese Embassy asks all the Chinese nationals in Britain to pay attention to their personal safety and, when encountering racist or bullying behaviour, to put safety first, remain calm and report it to the police, universities or other authorities.