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Ambassador Gui Congyou Lodges Representations to the Swedish Side on Incidents of Discrimination against Chinese People in Sweden

On 7 February, Ambassador Gui Congyou met with Deputy Director-General for Political Affairs and Head of Department for Asia and Pacific Affairs Cecilia Ruthström-Ruin in the Swedish Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

Ambassador Gui said, recently we received some reports by local Chinese people that they encountered unfair treatment and discrimination in Sweden. Some Chinese children said some of their school mates and even teachers said people should avoid touching Chinese kids. A Chinese mother and her daughter were verbally abused on subway in Stockholm. The abusers said “all Chinese are virus”, and the mother and daughter were almost physically assaulted. Some people viciously attacked Chinese restaurants online, saying one will catch corona virus when visiting a Chinese restaurant, which seriously affects the business of the restaurants. On the internet, some people call the Novel Coronavirus Pneumonia (NCP) “China virus” or “Wuhan virus”, demonizing China and Chinese people. It has caused strong backlash in the local Chinese community. What happened is regrettable, saddening and outrageous, and we must be alerted about it.

Now the whole country of China is making all-out efforts to combat NCP. The WHO acknowledged China’s work, and said China’s efforts to address NCP set a new standard for other countries. It is in a spirit to be responsible for people all over the world that the Chinese side worked to protect health security of the world at its own expense. The international community needs to join hands with China in this combat, as virus is a common enemy of the entire humanity. We noticed the recent comments by Director-General of Swedish Public Health Agency Johan Carlson, and commend his objective and calm comments in keeping with WHO recommendations and his positive remarks about the most strict measures taken by the Chinese Government to fight NCP. Any actions or words that maliciously associate the virus with a specific country or nationality is racial discrimination. It is immoral and against human rights. Some countries have already started to work to prevent such discrimination. We hope the Swedish Government will also take effective measures to prevent spread of messages of racial discrimination, prevent incidents of racial discrimination in Sweden, and protect the legitimate rights and interests of local Chinese people.

Cecilia Ruthström-Ruin said, racial discrimination is unacceptable. Nothing should be used as a pretext for discrimination against any country or any people. It is against the fundamental values of Swedish society. I am saddened to see this happen, and it is against Swedish Constitution and law. People that encountered discrimination can report to the police and use legal means to protect their rights.

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