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To press Global News to retract two reports against Chinese Canadians and to apologize

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(Please see the Chinese version below; 中文版请见后)

May 1, 2020
 
To: Global News  
 
We are writing to express our deep concerns about a news report on Global News TV Channel titled “China asked Chinese Nationals to Help Stockpile PPE” (by Abigail Bimman, April 30, 2020)and a Global News article titled “United Front Groups in Canada Helped Beijing Stockpile Coronavirus Safety Supplies” (by Sam Cooper, April 30, 2020). The comments provoked by these misleading reports clearly show that they deepen racialized fears about Chinese Canadians (and other Chinese in Canada) and exacerbate the upsurge of anti-Chinese, anti-Asian racism, in spite of the fact that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (1982) stipulates against discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin. Chinese and other Asian Canadians have already been met with an upsurge of vicious and violent attacks and blamed for the COVID-19 pandemic. Contrary to contributing to public enlightenment, these journalistic pieces supply the public with confusion. Worse, they provoke and exacerbate racist prejudices against Chinese and other Asian Canadians.  

We demand the immediate retraction of the above-named TV clip and the article because their gross failure in meeting the standards of accuracy constitutes a discriminatory slander against Chinese Canadians. We also demand a public apology by Global News Media to Chinese Canadians and those similarly affected by the rising anti-Chinese, anti-Asian racism. 
 
At the 13 second of the video clip of the news report, the announcer stated that “Every overseas Chinese is a warrior,” leading the viewers to believe that is what the Chinese government’s United Front Department stated in the document shown at the same time. However, what non-Chinese speaking viewers will not know is that the document shown on the screen is not such a call as portrayed by the reporter. The document shown on the screen appears to be a news report about overseas Chinese who originally came from Fujian Province helping with efforts to fight the pandemic. 

The sentence in question in the Global News reports - ‘Every overseas Chinese is a warrior’ - appeared to be buried in the middle of the Xinhua News report cited. What is critical is that the original sentence in Chinese reads '每一位侨胞都是战“疫“者'. A proper English translation should be ‘Every overseas Chinese is a warrior against the pandemic.' The Global News reports misleadingly dropped the key reference to “the pandemic,” which distorted the meaning of the sentence to fit the hysteria of their stories.
 
Another objectionable problem in these reports is that, out of racism or ignorance, terms “Chinese nationals,” “Chinese immigrants”, “overseas Chinese”, and “Chinese diaspora community associations” are mixed and used inter-exchangeably. In Canada, the majority of people with Chinese background are Canadian citizens. When will the Canadian media outlets such as Global News finally get this? When will it stop assuming Chinese Canadian citizens are foreigners whose loyalty resides with their country of origin?  
 
It is also shocking that the reports left out the following facts, which are important to note:
 
- In January and February, China was the epicentre of the pandemic while there were hardly any cases in the rest of the world. Hospitals in Wuhan suffered from a severe shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE), so much so that individual doctors sent desperate pleas for help on social media. There was also a severe shortage of face masks that ordinary people were required to wear. Wearing face masks has been a normal public health policy mandated by Asian countries, especially since the devastating impact of the earlier 2003 SARS situation. This was the context when some Chinese Canadians, along with other individuals, organizations, and governments from around the world, sent donations of PPE to China. The Government of Canada sent a donation of 16 tons of PPE. These Chinese Canadians did this out of worries for their families, friends and others in desperate need. This kind of humanitarian help, which Canada has proudly adopted as one of its national values, has been distorted by the Global News reports as grounds for accusation of disloyalty to Canada on the part of Chinese Canadians. Through such distortion, these reports imply that Chinese Canadians are not capable of human feelings and humanitarian actions, and that what they say and do are controlled by the Chinese government. This is simply not true. The message sent by the reports is deeply offensive and harmful. 
 
- In January and February, there were also questions raised within Chinese Canadian communities about the wisdom of buying and sourcing PPE and sending them to China. Some individuals on social media explicitly called for a stop of this because they were concerned about the eventual spread of the pandemic to Canada and wanted to save some for Canadians.
 
- Since the pandemic hit Canada in early March, many Chinese Canadians have tried to urge their non-Chinese friends and colleagues to use face masks and have been very frustrated by the governments’ refusal to encourage or indeed to require such a preventive measure. The scientific effectiveness of face masks is still to be established; however, what is indisputable is Chinese Canadians’ concern for Canada and their colleagues, friends, neighbors, and fellow citizens in Canada.
 
- Since March, many Chinese Canadian community associations have organized fundraisers for purchasing PPE and respirators for hospitals across Canada, including Ontario, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan, and British Columbia. To just give a few examples, Ottawa’s Chinese Canadian associations fundraised $106,000 for the Ottawa Hospital, University of Western Ontario Chinese Professors Association raised more than $10,000 for the local hospital. Many have sourced and facilitated donations of PPE to Canadian hospitals. For examples, 200,000 face masks were donated to the Ottawa Hospital through the actions of some Chinese Canadians; more than $25,000 and 5000 masks were donated to Windsor Regional Hospital by Chinese associations; more than $58,000 and 40,000 masks were donated to Saskatoon Fire and Police Department by the Chinese community there. Why were these stories about Chinese Canadians not mentioned at all?
 
- Data provided by the Chinese Customs for the period between March 1 and April 30 can also provide a glimpse of medical supplies flowing to other countries:  27.8 billion face masks, 130 million protection suits, 43.6 million pairs of protective goggles, 49 thousand respirators, among others. Chinese Canadians have been using their business connections to help Canadian federal and provincial governments to secure reliable medical supplies.
 
If Chinese Canadians are warriors, they are warriors against the coronavirus, standing side by side with other Canadians.
 
We demand the immediate retraction of the above-named TV clip and the article because their gross failure in meeting the standards of accuracy constitutes a slander against Chinese Canadians. 
 
We demand a public apology by Global News Media to Chinese Canadians and people similarly affected by the rising anti-Chinese, anti-Asian racism.

2020年5月1日
 
致:环球新闻(环球电视网络)
 
我们特写此信表达我们对“环球新闻”电视频道一个题为“中国要求中国公民帮助囤积个人防护用品”的新闻报道(Abigail Bimman,2020年4月30日)以及一篇题为“统战部在加群体帮助北京囤积冠状病毒安全用品”的 “环球新闻“文章(Sam Cooper,2020年4月30日)的高度关注和深切担忧。这些误导性的报道所引发的评论清楚地表明,尽管《加拿大权利和自由宪章》(1982年)规定禁止基于种族、民族或族裔的歧视,这些报道加深了对华裔加拿大人(包括其他华人)的种族主义恐惧,加剧了反华、反亚种族主义的高涨。华裔和其他亚裔加拿大人已经遭遇了激增的恶性暴力袭击,并被指责为COVID-19疫情的罪魁祸首。这些新闻作品不仅没有帮助公众获得更多的明晰了解,反而给混淆视听,挑起并加剧了对华裔加拿大人的种族偏见。
 
我们要求“环球新闻”立即收回上述电视片段和文章,因为它们严重违反新闻准确的标准,构成对华裔加拿大人的歧视性诽谤。我们还要求“环球新闻”向华裔加拿大人和同样受到反华、反亚裔种族主义影响的人士公开道歉。
 
在新闻报道视频片段的第13秒,播音员说“每一个海外华人都是勇士”,意图让观众相信这是中国政府统战部在同时显示的文件中所说的话。不过,非华语观众不会知道的是,屏幕上显示的文件并不是记者描绘的那样,屏幕上显示的这份文件似乎是一份有关来自福建省的华胞帮助抗击冠状病毒疫情的新闻报道。
 
“环球新闻” 报道文章中的这句话——“每一个海外华人都是勇士”——似乎来自引用的新华社报道中的一句话。关键的是,中文的原句是“每一位侨胞都是战”疫“者”。一个恰当的英文翻译应该是“Every overseas Chinese is a warrior against the epidemic”。”环球新闻”报道错误地删除了“病疫”这一关键词,它扭曲了句子的意思,以适应他们故事里歇斯底里的主题。
 
另一令人反感的一个问题是,出于种族主义或无知,它们将“中国公民”、“中国移民”、“海外华人”和“中国侨胞社区组织”等词语混合使用,相互交流。在加拿大,大多数有中国文化背景的人是加拿大公民。“环球新闻”等加拿大媒体何时才能最终明白这一事实?它何时才能停止假设加拿大华裔公民是忠于原籍国的外国人?
 
同样令人震惊的是,这些报告遗漏了以下值得注意的事实:
 
-       今年1月和2月,中国是疫情的中心,而世界其它地区几乎没有病例。武汉的医院严重缺乏个人防护设备,以至于个别医生出于绝望在社交媒体上求救。此外,普通人必须佩戴的口罩也严重短缺。戴口罩一直是亚洲国家强制推行的一项常规公共卫生政策, 尤其是自2003年非典疫情以来。在这种情况下,一些华裔加拿大人与来自世界各地的个人、组织和政府一同向中国捐赠了个人防护用品。加拿大政府也捐赠了16吨个人防护用品。这些华裔加拿大人的行动是出于对有急迫需要的家人、朋友和其他人的担心。加拿大自豪地将这种人道主义援助视为国家价值之一,但“环球新闻”歪曲了这种人道主义援助,将其视为华裔加拿大人对加拿大不忠的指控理由。通过这样的扭曲,“环球新闻”暗示的观点是华裔加拿大人不可能有人的感情、不可能有人道主义行为,他们的思想与行动都被中国政府控制。这根本不是事实。这样的观点是非常冒犯和有伤害性的。
 
-       今年1月和2月,加拿大华裔社区内也有人质疑购买个人防护用品并将其送往中国是否明智。在社交媒体上,一些人曾明确呼吁停止这一做法,因为他们担心这一流行病最终会蔓延到加拿大,并希望为加拿大人保留一些。
 
-       自今年3月初疫情袭击加拿大以来,许多华裔加拿大人试图敦促自己的朋友和同事使用口罩,他们对政府拒绝鼓励、甚至要求大众戴口罩采取感到非常担心。口罩的科学功效尚待证实,但毋庸置疑的是华裔加拿大人对加拿大及他们的同事、朋友、邻居和加拿大同胞的关心。
 
-       自三月份以来,许多加拿大华人社区组织已经为加拿大各地的医院(包括安大略省、新斯科舍省、萨斯喀彻温省和不列颠哥伦比亚省)组织了购买个人防护用品和呼吸器的筹款活动。举几个例子,渥太华华裔侨学界为渥太华医院筹集了10.6万加元;西安大略大学华裔教授协会为当地医院筹集了1万多加元。许多华人帮助寻找、促进給加拿大多家医院的个人防护用品捐赠。例如,一些华裔加拿大人组织向渥太华医院捐赠了20万个口罩;温莎华人组织向温莎地区医院捐赠了2.5万多加元和5000多个口罩;当地华人社区向萨斯卡通消防警察局捐赠了5.8万多加元和4万个口罩。为什么这些关于华裔加拿大人的故事在“环球新闻”的报道中一点也没提到?
 
-       中国海关提供的3月1日至4月30日期间的数据也可以让人们了解流向其它国家的医疗用品:278亿个口罩、1.3亿套防护服、4360万副防护眼镜、4.9万个呼吸器等。在加拿大的华人一直利用他们的商业关系帮助加拿大联邦和省政府获得可靠的医疗用品。
 
如果说华裔加拿大人是勇士,那他们是与其他加拿大人并肩作战、对抗冠状病毒的勇士。
 
我们要求“环球新闻”立即收回上述电视新闻片段和文章,因为它们严重违反新闻准确的标准,构成对华裔加拿大人的诽谤。
 
我们要求“环球新闻”向加拿大华裔公民和同样受到日益高涨的反华、反亚种族主义影响的民众公开道歉。



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