Background Information

Racism is undoubtedly a sensitive topic. However, this issue is very important in both the United States and China. While the United States is often characterized by its cultural and racial diversity, China is also extremely diverse (the Chinese government officially recognizes 55 minority ethnic groups). In total, China has 56 recognized ethnic groups with the inclusion of the Han majority. While the history, dynamics, and power of race relations are very different in both countries, racism is an important topic of discussion. Historically, the Chinese Communist Party was influential in increasing national understanding and representations of the African American experience. See the article links below for more context on ethnic minorities in China and Chinese media representations of race and racism in the United States.

Ethnic Minorities in China (Asia Society)

With Blackface and Monkey Suit, Chinese Gala on Africa Causes Uproar (New York Times)

Blackness in Modern China: W.E.B. Du Bois and Chinese Representations of Blackness (Medium)

Black Power in China: Mao’s Support for African American “Racial Struggle as Class Struggle” (Medium)


种族歧视 Racial Discrimination

Suggested Level: Intermediate High (CHN 202)

Context information: Ted is an American student, and 韩 (Hán) is a domestic Chinese student. They are discussing racism in the United States.

Ted: 因为在美国存在一个—— 你怎么说这个?

韩: 种族歧视?

Ted: 哦,不是那个问题,是一个人不喜欢别人,因为——

韩: Mhmm。

Ted: 他是别国家的人1

韩: 是排外?

Ted: 可能排外,但排外是……差不多是种族,哦对对,你说种族主义者。

韩: 种族歧视,种族主义者。

Ted: 种族什么,种族主义?

韩: 嗯。

Ted: 你说什么种——

韩: 种族歧视。

Ted: 歧视?

韩: 歧视就是,就是看不起。就是我觉得我是比你更高贵的。

Ted: 对对对对对。

韩: 种族歧视。

Ted: 歧视,对。

韩: 歧视就是——

Ted: 啊。

韩: (laughing)

Ted: 看不起。

韩: 对,看不起。

Ted: 在美国,存在这个问题?

韩: Mhmm。

Ted: 特别是警察,杀死——

韩: Oh no,杀死black——

Ted: 嗯。

韩: Black people2

Ted: 对。

韩: 但很多人都抗议。

Ted: Mhmm。

韩: 很多人,我知道很多这样的新闻。

Ted: 嗯。

1. 外国人 ‘foreigner’ might be a more natural way of expressing people from other countries as opposed to 别国家的人.

2. In Chinese, 黑人 refers to black people.


  1. 存在 (cúnzài) To exist
  2. 种族歧视 (zhǒngzúqíshì) Racial discrimination
  3. 种族 (zhǒngzú) Race
  4. 歧视 (qíshì) Discrimination
  5. 排外 (páiwài) Xenophobic; Anti-foreign
  6. 种族主义 (zhǒngzúqíshì) Racism
  7. 种族主义者 (zhǒngzúzhǔyì) Racist (as in a racist person)
  8. 高贵 (gāoguì) Noble; Elite
  9. 看不起 (kànbuqǐ) Cannot accept (as in an expression of disapproval toward something); To look down upon
  10. 警察 (jǐngchá) Police
  11. 黑人 (hēirén) Black person
  12. 杀死 (shāsǐ) To kill
  13. 抗议 (kàngyì) To protest
  14. 新闻 (xīnwén) News