On 14 September 2020, CWT brought together the Crown Prosecution Service and CARG (Covid-19 Anti-Racism Group) to deliver a webinar on understanding hate crime and the role of the CPS in delivering justice. It was the first of its kind organised for the British Chinese and Southeast Asian communities, in response to the increase in hate crime reported to the police by people of Chinese appearance being racially abused and treated as scapegoats for the Covid-19 crisis.
The CPS-led webinar attracted the participation of more than 50 people from community organisations across England, as well as individual concerned citizens.
We were lucky to be joined by two leading figures from the CPS National Policy and National Legal teams during the 2-hour long webinar. They presented the work of the CPS and engaged in a lively discussion with enthusiastic participants. Opinions and experience were freely shared.
Several ideas emerged during the discussion:
- The systems used by the police and the CPS need to be revamped to better capture data on the ethnic background of hate crime victims to track if a certain ethnic group is being targeted
- Police forces around the country need to address how to improve the way they record hate crime. Failure to do so will mean racially-aggravated hate incidents or crime on individuals/businesses will never come to the attention of the CPS who is responsible for applying the law on the prosecution of perpetrators.
- There appears to be the need for Chinese and SE Asian communities to organise better among ourselves to support victims of hate crime and encourage reporting.
The COVID-19 pandemic has subjected the British Chinese and Southeast Asian communities to unprecedented levels of prejudice and hate. It is our responsibility to organise ourselves better to push back injustice and work towards bringing positive change to improve the system for all concerned.
Chinese Welfare Trust would like to thank the Crown Prosecution Service for assisting with the delivery of the webinar, together with our co-organiser CARG.
To combat the spike in hate incidents and negative social effects of racism arising from Covid-19 against British Chinese and South East Asian communities, we have teamed up with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to host a hate crime awareness webinar for members of our community. We are co-organising this event with CARG (Covid-19 Anti-Racism Group), who have been very outspoken on media portrayal of Southeast Asian looking people in relation to the reporting of the new coronavirus outbreak.
The CPS-led webinar is going to take place on Monday 14 September at 2pm.
The CPS will introduce their work, nationally and locally, to raise awareness of what hate crime is and to improve the confidence to report, in order to reduce the levels of hate crime occurring. The CPS promotes positive outcomes as a means of encouraging victims to report and in an effort to discourage offenders. The presentation will be followed by a Q&A session, and will last for about 1.5 hours.
Please register by sending an email to email@example.com, clearly stating the name(s) of participant(s), additional email address(es) if any, and capacity (private/position & name of organisation), and we will respond with a webinar link.
This is part of a larger hate crime awareness and reporting project involving two other partner organisations, which we have recently secured funding from the National Lottery.
This level of hate and discrimination is unchartered territory for Chinese and South East Asian people living in the UK, and it is high time we come together and do something about it.
Please help spread the word to your network and encourage your friends and associates who care about our community to sign up.
Following from the first press release of the Covid19 Anti-Racism Group (CARG) in April, they have just made public their second press statement and intensified their call against racist hate crime by starting an online petition.
Please sign the petition to show your support.
The May 2020 press statement is quoted as follows.
Petition against racism arising from Covid-19. Say no to racism.
Covid-19 Anti-Racism Group (CARG) has started a petition, echoing a similar petition from Australia, to address the increase in racism and hate crime towards British East Asians (Chinese, East and Southeast) arising from the Covid-19 pandemic. The petition is addressed to our Prime Minister asking for a clear declaration that the British Government deplores racism and hate crime arising from Covid-19 against British East Asian people and international students in our country.
In the first 3 months of 2020, there were at least 267 offences against Chinese, East and Southeast Asians people compared with 375 hate crimes in the whole of 2019 and 360 in 2018. Besides these numbers recorded by the police and some incidences highlighted in the press, many go unreported, as racist incidences and hate crime against people of Chinese, East and Southeast Asian heritage in the UK continue to rise.
The impact of racism and hate crime goes beyond the victims, as a climate of fear is generated. The following are comments from people when they registered on the CARG website:
“Not only the world has turned upside down with Covid-19 but as a British Chinese citizen I’m also living in fear for my children and me because of the rising hate crimes …”.
“You would think we would live in a much more tolerant society in the year 2020. I'm very worried about my future, as a British Chinese living in the UK.”
In recent weeks, various media outlets have begun to report on and deplore racism arising from the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as highlighted the contribution made by British East Asians fighting against Covid-19, from frontline services to volunteers providing PPE and food. There are also examples of support from the wider British public. A notable example was the immediate support from residents, councillors, police and social media when a Chinese takeaway had racist slogans sprayed on its frontage. The local primary school also painted a rainbow with the words ‘Love is Stronger than Hate’ to replace the racist slogans.
There are however still many challenges to overcome. A study by Professor Binna Kandola, a visiting Professor at Leeds University and Aston University, surveyed 412 people of Chinese, East and Southeast Asian origins since the outbreak5. The findings are shocking as ‘over a third of people of Chinese heritage had experienced anti-Chinese racism in public places’. Professor Binna warns that incidences and hate crimes are likely to escalate when the coronavirus lockdown lifts.
Globally, Covid-19 related racism is on the rise, not only against people of Chinese, East and Southeast Asian heritage. There have been reports of racist incidences against Africans in China and the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres recently announced that the Covid-19 pandemic has unleashed “a tsunami of hate and xenophobia, scapegoating and scare-mongering …. online and in the streets, anti-Semitic conspiracy theories have spread, and Covid-19-related anti-Muslim attacks have occurred”.
We therefore continue to urge the press, media, public figures and our political leaders to emphasise solidarity, courage and mutual support across all communities, rather than feed hostility, division and racism. It is right that the origins of Covid-19 and its transmission should be thoroughly researched by scientists. There is however a big difference between critical analysis for learning lessons and weaponising Covid-19 for political gain.
Please visit CARG's website for the full press statement with a list of co-signees.
Since the start of the current public health crisis, stock images of East Asian people wearing face masks in public have been shown repeatedly on television news when reporting the spread of the new coronavirus. In other forms of mass media, descriptions that carry racial overtones have contributed to the negative perception of people of Chinese and East Asian descent and their cultural habits. Malicious attacks on individuals and businesses have been occasionally reported, not to mention incidents of lower level discrimination and verbal abuse experience by some that have not made it to the news.
In an encouraging development, a cross-party national group (CARG) was recently formed to counter media coverage around Covid-19 that fuels racism.
Our trustee Dr Yeow Poon has been coordinating efforts in raising awareness on this issue and initiating change.
The following is a press release put out by CARG, quoted here in full. For a copy with the names of co-signees, please click here.
COVID-19 ANTI-RACISM GROUP
PRESS RELEASE 6 April 2020
Over the last few months, there has been an alarming rise in racism and racial attacks (verbal and physical) throughout the UK again st British Chinese, East and Southeast Asian communities, including numerous international students. While many have stood up against the perpetrators, it is distressing to see the upsurge in racism and hate crime arising from the Covid-19 pandemic.
The situation has been inflamed by media misrepresentation and the frequent use of images of Chinese, East and Southeast Asian people in masks, whenever Covid-19 was depicted in the press, television and other media. While Covid-19 has become a global pandemic, the media, including the British media, have continued to use images of East Asian people, even when the story is unrelated to China, for example, UK panic-buying or British airlines calling for tax suspension (Evening Standard, 26th March).
The media has racialised Covid-19, creating a climate of fear, anger and hatred towards British Chinese, East and Southeast Asian communities. For example, Alison Pearson from The Telegraph tweeted on 14th March 2020: “Is China starting to make reparation for infecting the whole world?” On 29th March, The Sun and Mail on Sunday also demonised China, as did Michael Gove during the Covid-19 daily briefing (Independent), to deflect criticism from the UK government’s failure to prepare properly for the pandemic. The insistence by the BBC’s Chris Mason in calling Covid-19 ‘a Chinese virus’ (Radio 4 Any Questions, 3rd April) is contrary to WHO guidelines not to racialise disease.
The increase in Sinophobia, particularly on social media and fuelled by irresponsible press coverage, has translated into racist attacks on British Chinese, East and Southeast Asian people and racist attitudes that have decimated Chinatown businesses throughout the UK since January. Covid-19 does not discriminate on ethnicity. The risk of transmission affects all of us equally, hence we should be supporting and helping each other to contain and defeat the virus. There are many examples of inter-governmental cooperation between Asia and Europe, as well as British Chinese, East and Southeast Asian organisations fundraising to support those on the frontline in the UK and in Asia.
Many British Chinese, East and Southeast Asians work in the NHS and social care sector as doctors, nurses, carers and other frontline staff. Many others have become NHS volunteers or joined neighbourhood support groups to shop for the elderly and other vulnerable people. Many also continue to experience racist abuse while working on the frontline.
The media needs to focus on the roles played by migrant and minority communities in the fight against Covid-19, rather than scapegoating one ethnicity. Diverse communities make up the UK’s essential workforce, carers and volunteers, as they take on life-risking
work in this time of crisis. We urge the media to emphasise solidarity, courage and mutual support across all communities, rather than feed hostility, division and racism.
On 29th March, an online conference on combating the COVID-19 pandemic was held at the Chinese Embassy in London. It was remotely attended by over 500 participants living in different parts of the UK.
The event was held at the Embassy by the Shandong Province UK Joint-working Group (山东省赴英联合工作组) and attended by Ambassador Liu Xiaoming. One of the highlights of the conference was the sharing of information and China's experience on the efficacy of using traditional herbal medicine alongside western biomedicine.
The minutes of the meeting was taken by Huang Qi (黄琪 ), Chair of UK Chinese Youth League (英国华人青年联盟主席). The following text in Chinese is an excerpt of the minutes in relation to the use of Chinese medicine.
For a summary of the event, please visit:
Disclaimer: Information in this article is for reference purpose only. Always comply with the latest official UK government advice and guidance on dealing with the new coronavirus outbreak.
As the nation combats the threat of Covid-19, we are keen to reassure our supporters that vulnerable, older Chinese people in the UK will continue to be supported by Chinese Welfare Trust in line with the latest government advice and guidance.
We are doing everything we can to remain connected to our elderly service users and their caregivers, by supporting them over the phone and helping them access vital services.
Our fundraising work will no doubt take a hit while the public health situation is being brought under control. At this critical time, we rely on our supporters more than ever to help us continue serving those who need our assistance. If you can, please click the DONATE button on our website to sign up as a Friend or make a one-off donation.
As our awareness of public health is heightened, it is important we also look after our emotional wellbeing during this unsettling time. Please click on this link (in Chinese) to find out more, and pass it on to people you know who may benefit from it. We will post new resources as they become available.
Our connectedness as a community will be a challenge over the coming days and weeks. It is therefore even more important that we stay close to see off this pandemic. We at CWT cannot wait for the cloud to clear and roll out new plans for a brighter future.
Thank you for your continued support and, please, stay safe and well.
The much anticipated Chinese Welfare Trust community research report was presented and launched at a forum on 20 February 2019 at the House of Lords.
Entitled "Chinese Community Centres in the UK: Changing Landscape, Challenges and Strategies for the Future", the report was the product of a community research project commissioned by CWT in January 2018.
For the first time, the changes experienced - and coping mechanisms employed - by Chinese community organisations in the last ten years were properly documented in the form of a published report, based on information gathered from key informants from 14 Chinese community organisations in four selected major UK cities: London, Manchester, Birmingham and Liverpool.
Kindly hosted by the Rt Hon Lord McNally, the forum offered an opportunity for community leaders, stakeholders and policy makers to discuss various issues examined in the report. It was very well attended, with representatives of various community organisations from around England, supporters from the business sector and individuals with a distinguished track record on community affairs. Lord McNally remarked the timely publication of the report on assessing the impact that dwindling public resources has had on Chinese community organisations, which is a vital part of British civil society. He also commended the effort of those who actively seek ways to navigate a more positive future.
The forum discussion was led by a panel of distinguished speakers. Circle Steele, CEO of Wai Yin Society in Manchester, shared the success story of her organisation despite the many challenges in securing funding, and how they managed to find a way to cater for the needs of young and old of the local community and continue to grow with good governance. Dr Yeow Poon, who is the co-author of the report and Chair of Chinese Community Centre - Birmingham, espoused the virtue of broadening the user base of mainly-Chinese centres by including residents from other ethnic groups in the local area as a way to increase appeal and establish links with the local community they serve. We also had representatives from Dementia UK - Claire Ferris who is in charge of Business Development and Julie Ann Knight who is a Consultant Admiral Nurse (dementia support specialist) - taking the view that as more and more people live longer into their old age, social support to help people with dementia and their families and carers live with dignity will be relevant across all ethnic groups. Such support should be built on each community's capacity for cohesion and resilience, and this is particularly the case for ethnic minority groups where there is a demand for culturally appropriate services.
A lively floor discussion ensued and this was evidently the result of the insights provided by the panel speakers and the level of interest generated around the publication of the report. Support rallied around the following opinions:
- Statutory funders and private trusts and foundations should put sustainability at the centre of their funding strategy by showing willingness to provide core funding for a period of 3-5 years to ensure a longer-lasting and positive impact is made to the lives of service users of Chinese community organisation.
- A community trust fund should be set up within the UK Chinese community for centres and organisations to apply for core and project funding to improve sustainable service planning and delivery.
- More effort is needed by community leaders to bridge the communication gap between the traditional Cantonese-speaking cohort and the newer and growing Mandarin-speaking population to enhance community cohesion and harmony.
- Chinese community centres across the UK need to adopt a more outward-looking stance and become more inclusive. This means revamping the image and substance of many mainly-Chinese local centres to become a welcoming place to people from a range of different ethnic backgrounds and providing services relevant to their needs.
- Chinese migrants who came to the UK in the 1960s and 1970s are now ageing. They are generally less able to communicate in English and less integrated into British society as compared to later generations. The current provision of social and support services that cater to their cultural needs is woefully inadequate and the demand of which is expected to rise, as more people live longer with conditions such as dementia.
Chinese Welfare Trust feels privileged to be able to bring people from different sectors together and examine a range of pressing issues facing our community. We thank everyone who took part in the forum and their support for this event. Special thanks are due to QED Education Group who kindly sponsored the publication of the report. The conversation has now begun on creating future pathways for the strengthening of Chinese community centres in the UK with a view to providing relevant services and building capacity for sustainability planning.
A newspaper article in Chinese about the forum has been published in Nouvelles d'Europe and can be accessed here.
A copy of the community research report can be found here.
Many congratulations to our Honorary President Mr Stephen Perry, also Chairman of the 48 Group Club, for being awarded the prestigious China Reform and Friendship Medal! The award was presented to him by H.E. Ambassador Xiaoming Liu at the Chinese Embassy in London on 14 Jan.
During the reception at the Embassy to celebrate this joyous occasion, Ambassador Liu gratefully acknowledged the contribution made by the Perry family over the last six decades in enhancing China-UK cooperation on economy, trade, talents and culture.
Mr Eddie Chan, who co-founded CWT with Mr Perry, represented CWT at the awards ceremony. The Co-chairs and trustees of CWT are absolutely delighted that our Honorary President has been bestowed such a great honour by the Chinese Government. No doubt very well-deserved!
The full speech by Ambassador Liu can be found here:
Join us for a discussion in the House of Lords on 20 February 2019 on our newly released research report, "Chinese Community Centres in the UK: Changing Landscape, Challenges and Strategies for the Future".
Launched in October 2018 at our 10th anniversary dinner celebration, this report aims to document the changes and coping mechanisms experienced by Chinese community organisations in the last ten years, based on information gathered from key informants from 14 Chinese community organisations in four major UK cities – London, Manchester, Birmingham and Liverpool.
This forum, hosted by Lord Tom McNally, is an opportunity for stakeholders and policy makers to discuss various issues examined in the report. Long-serving community leaders will share their experience on meeting the changing needs of the local community they serve and their insight into long-term service sustainability planning.
Other eminent guest speakers on forum discussion panel include:
-Baroness Sally Greengross OBE, President/CEO, International Longevity Centre
- Dr Yeow Poon, co-author of the report and Chair of Chinese Community Centre-Birmingham
- Ms Circle Steele, CEO, Wai Yin Society, Manchester
- Dr Karen Harrison-Dening, Head of Research and Evaluation, Dementia UK
This forum will take place in Committee Room G of the House of Lords between 6 to 8 pm.
To book tickets for this forum, please visit:
Please join us for this meaningful event. Donations are appreciated if you cannot be with us on this occasion but want to support our outreach work and our new initiative to train the first Chinese-speaking Admiral Nurse in the UK to support families living with dementia.
A complicated mixture of mental health issues and lack of understanding of mainstream social services has left two Chinese brothers in their 60s socially isolated and neglected for over six years.
The case came to light when City West Homes, one of Westminster's largest housing associations, got in touch with Chinese Welfare Trust in July 2018 requesting help with communication with two of their Chinese residents (hereafter referred to as the L brothers).
One of the L brothers had not left the flat for six years until City West Homes carried out a gas safety check at their residence, and found that they were not registered tenants. Their mother, who was the legal tenant, passed away two years before this and had been supporting her sons who have issues with mental health. When they were 'discovered' by City West Homes, the L brothers had not had any contact with health professionals or any meaningful social interaction with the outside world for several years.
Our outreach worker, together with a volunteer, successfully helped City West Homes understand the far-from-ideal health and housing situations the L brothers were in.
As a result of our intervention the L brothers moved to a new home as legal tenants of City West Homes in September, two months after their case had come to our attention. They now also have access to benefits and a GP, as well as receiving support from their local community mental health team.
Working with other Chinese community organisations, we introduced and encouraged the L brothers to participate in luncheon and social clubs run by these centres. They are now slowly getting used to a more normal life.