US-China tensions bring fresh wave of AAPI xenophobia

AAPI community leaders are concerned that the tense US-China relationship, which has become more fraught in recent weeks over accusations of Chinese spying, have spurred on a fresh wave of xenophobia as high-ranking Asian American politicians become the targets of Republican attacks.

Rep. Judy Chu, the first Chinese American woman elected to Congress, has been accused of being “unpatriotic,” by Rep. Lance Gooden (R-Texas), because of her support for Dominic Ng, President Joe Biden’s appointee as Chair of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). Ng has been accused of having ties to the Chinese Communist Party by Gooden and five other House Republicans.

Manjusha Kulkarni, Executive Director of the AAPI Equity Alliance and co-founder of Stop AAPI Hate, told EMS she was very discouraged by the attacks on Chu and Ng. “Upstanding citizens who are leaders in our community are under attack only because of their ethnicity,” she said, adding that she would not be surprised to see a spike in hate crimes against the AAPI community. “We are ramping up xenophobia once again,” she said.

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