China is really making it hard for the foreigners these days. All visas are a big pain in the ass -- my main man in Beijing, a guy that for years was able to get us visas, had his office ransacked and all foreign passports confiscated.
People who have been here for years and have good relations with the government -- businessmen and women with big money and influence -- are getting hassled by the cops left and right. Random racist attacks on foreigners are worse than they have ever been.
At the same time, one must realize that this is basically still a small group of cops and fools behind a lot of this. The vast majority of the people are cool and curious and friendly and hospitable. But the minority -- as in Burma/Myanmar -- is reverting back to the Old Days when foreigners were devils and dogs and Asians were heroes of culture and wisdom fighting against the barbarian tide.
Is this only an Asian thing? I have been to a few other countries and anti-foreigner rhetoric is always there, but in my experience the anti-foreigner racism of Asia is one of the more rock-solid in the world.
In the States we have racism along color lines, but not necessarily ethnic lines ... it is a blurred edge no doubt, as different colors usually mean different ethnicities. In Europe, anti-foreigner sentiment seems confined to the Old and New Right ... but its starting to seep into the mainstream. I suppose Outsiders have always been hated, its always there.
The bullshit reason-less hatred I am subjected to at times in China has made me more of a nationalist than I would have ever become on my own. I am still not a Fortress America proponent ... but the world is filled with regular people with their heads down trying to make ends meet and dominated by loud-mouthed demagogues who see nothing but differences between us all. It makes me want to retreat and blow things up at the same time.
"We need to run these crazy baldheads out of the town ..."
If anyone has anything to say, holler.