Anti-Asian Racism in the Era of Great Power Competition

The current wave of anti-Asian racism did not arise from a deliberate attack on the United States. Its causes have been much more indirect in nature. As such, those who inflame anti-Asian sentiment can do so in the name of “being accurate” on the supposed Chinese manufacturing of the COVID-19 virus, as President Donald Trump suggested. The political rhetoric that exaggerates China’s threat, including the insistence of the term “China virus,” has driven anti-Asian violence and continues unabated despite changes in the Administration as well as greater coverage by the mainstream media. In this talk, Jessica J. Lee of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft will explore how the current climate reduces space for U.S.-China cooperation on vital issues of mutual concern such as climate crisis and pandemics, as well as endangers Asian Americans by reinforcing centuries-old fears about their influence in society.

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