Chinese community braces itself for race hate backlash

The Chinese Community in South Belfast is bracing itself for a race hate backlash after businessmen on the Donegall Pass were visited by the PSNI and warned they may be targeted in the coming weeks.

Police visited a number of Chinese restaurants in Donegall Pass last weekend and warned workers there that a specific threat had been received. However, police were unable to tell those visited where the threat came from.

Earlier this year the UVF in South Belfast waged a campaign of terror against the tiny Chinese community throughout the Donegall Pass and Donegall Road districts.

The hate-filled campaign formed part of a local commander's efforts to extort cash from ethnic businessmen.
It is understood the PSNI, who have faced criticism over their lack of action over racist incidents in the area, visited businesses premises last weekend.

Police had earlier informed the Chinese Welfare Association of the threat and joined with the group in drafting a bilingual leaflet warning of the threat that was later distributed to groups in the area.

Anna Lo from the Chinese Welfare Association described the development as worrying.

"It heightens the fear factor," she said. "And it is obvious intimidation against the Chinese community in this area. We have no idea who is behind this but the police are taking it seriously, therefore we are taking it seriously."

David Carlin from the Anti Racism Network said his group will continue to work with those affected by racism.

"To see this sort of thing going on again in this part of South Belfast is worrying," he said. "The Anti Racism Network and all those involved will seek to meet the needs of those people most affected and offer them whatever assistance we can.

"But it is confusing how a threat can be issued and the police can take it seriously if they don't know where it has come from."

A spokesperson for the PSNI said they do not discuss the security of individuals.

Journalist:: Connla Young

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