“Racism against Chinese” warning from former culture chief

Former Secretary of State for Culture Francisco José Viegas has said he is worried about the “growing prejudice and racism” against the Chinese community in Portugal.

“The other day I walked by a Chinese store in Évora and was absolutely shocked by the way the people were treating the employee,” he told Lusa news agency.

In fact, Viegas says the way many Portuguese people treat Chinese reminds him of racist attitudes towards Brazilians and even Portuguese returning penniless from the colonies in the 70s.

“It was the people who returned who got the country’s inland area ‘moving’ again, by starting businesses and pushing the country to live differently,” he said, pointing out that “if this hadn’t happened, Portuguese people would still walk around with black shawls over their heads.”

According to Viegas, “China is awakening and we are not ready.”

Quoting Napoleon Bonaparte, he added rather ominously: “When China wakes up, the world will tremble.”