mandag 22. juli 2019

Chinese-Canadians aren’t all Chinese – and that nuance must not be elided

Canadians of different heritage are often identified by prefixes – Anglo-Canadians, French-Canadians and Japanese-Canadians are mentioned with nary a blink. So the term “Chinese-Canadian” shouldn’t be any different, right?

Perhaps not. Canada has a history of neglecting that term when “Chinese” people were treated with a broad and discriminatory brush that can’t be ignored or forgotten. And now, as Chinese-Canadians increasingly risk being perceived – fairly or not – as foot soldiers for a belligerent Beijing, that term and the historical nuances that are too often elided must be more deeply understood by Canadians at large. That’s an especially urgent lesson now, as China launches trade broadsides against the United States, detains Canadians after the arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, and has been influencing the overly broad diaspora on the world stage.