Pub’d in the China Daily: Why the Negative Bias Against Chinese Students in America Needs to Stop

This past Wednesday, the China Daily just published my op-ed titled Why the Negative Bias Against Chinese Students in America Needs to Stop. Here’s an excerpt:

When Chinese students in the US returned to universities in 2017, they began a new semester under a cloud. The Los Angeles Times reported that, in the wake of Trump’s election, the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco warned students of rising anti-China sentiment that might be dangerous. The Consulate’s letter cited instances of verbal abuse directed at Chinese students. Meanwhile, Asian Americans Advancing Justice has recently reported a huge uptick in hate crimes against Asians, thanks to Trump’s demonization of China as America’s enemy.

But it would be naïve to assume that all of this started with Trump’s election. In fact, there has always been a negative bias against Chinese students in the US

Much of the mainstream news coverage of Chinese students in America has a negative slant – from stories like “Heavy Recruitment of Chinese Students Sows Discord on US Campuses” (Wall Street Journal) to more exaggerated headlines such as “How Chinese Students Are ‘Cheating’ To Get Into US Universities” (Forbes) and “Fraud frenzy? Chinese seek US college admission at any price” (CNN). Meanwhile, that bias has trickled down to the public. I’ve had many conversations about Chinese students in America with academics and the general populous; most often, people allege Chinese are ruining the quality of education, or stealing admissions spots from more deserving American students. Even Google displays this bias; when I searched for Chinese students in the US, of the four suggested search strings, two were the following: Chinese students in the US problems, and Chinese students in the US rich.

The negative bias against Chinese students in America needs to stop.

To read on, visit the China Daily for the full article.

P.S.: A huge thank you to everyone who helped make this article possible, including Susan Blumberg-Kason and Marissa Zhang.

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17 Replies to “Pub’d in the China Daily: Why the Negative Bias Against Chinese Students in America Needs to Stop”

  1. Our University President recently announced his plan to increase international student enrollment as part of our drive to become one of the Top 25 public research-intensive universities by 2030.

    He was very clear that these students (primarily Chinese based on what we have currently enrolled) would be addition to, NOT instead, of any American student applications and still the grief he got in social media was incredible. People ranted about how these students would ‘steal’ positions and financial aid etc. from US students which is absolutely not true. It shows the current levels of hatred of the “other” because they don’t look like me, talk like me, and don’t think like me. I am so ashamed of what my country is becoming while proud of my university for what it wants to attain.

    1. That is wonderful about your university, though disheartening (and not at all surprising) that so many people responded like that. People are simply not aware of the hatred they have for other groups, like Chinese students. It is shameful.

  2. Congratulations, Jocelyn.

    Washington State has a large number of Chinese students. After Trump was elected, the state has become worried that Chinese students will be afraid to study here because of Trump’s anti-immigrant bias. Since foreign students pay full tuition, their absence would be a big blow to college budgets.

    1. Thanks Nicki. I think the state has every right to feel concerned, given the current political atmosphere. Trump will definitely discourage more Chinese students from studying in the US; those students will choose to attend university abroad in other countries instead.

  3. Thank you for writing this Jocelyn. This is sadly a very big issue and not just in the United States. People hate the other and often times the larger more visible other groups become target of this hatred. Have you heard about chinese students being asked to show their phones and social media to border security when they enter the country? I have heard a few such instances through heresay but western media hasn’t covered it yet. It doesn’t help that chinese nationals abroad or really any east or south asian immigrants abroad are not very vocal and fear speaking up due to their cultural upbringing. A lot of this stuff goes unreported. Very sad times.

  4. If people can get away with bad behavior, they will continue.

    If people get punished for good behavior, they will stop.

    Morality is useless for any behavior modification. Reward and punishment are the only incentive. Grow up! Folks.

    If you want bad behavior stop, justice is only option.

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