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Sinophobia (from Late Latin Sinae "China" and Greek φόβος, phobos, "fear") or anti-Chinese sentiment is the fear of or dislike of China, its people, overseas Chinese, or Chinese culture. It often targets Chinese minorities living outside of China and is complicated by the dilemma of immigration, development of national identity in neighbouring countries, disparity of wealth, fall of the past central tribute system and majority-minority relations. Its opposite is Sinophilia.
- 1 Region-based Sinophobia
- 1.1 East Asia
- 1.2 South Asia
- 1.3 Pacific
- 1.4 Central Asia
- 1.5 Western world
- 1.6 Africa
- 2 Historical sinophobia-led violence
- 3 Derogatory terms
- 4 See also
- 5 References
- 6 Further reading
Although Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule in 1997, many Hong Kongers do not (fully) identify with China. According to a survey conducted by the University of Hong Kong in June 2012, 46% of Hong Kongers identify themselves as "Hong Kong citizens", versus 18% who identify themselves as "Chinese citizens", and 34% who choose a mixed identity of both. The number of Mainland Chinese visitors to Hong Kong have surged since the handover, reaching 28 million in 2011. The conspicuous consumption and rude behaviour of some mainlanders have upset many locals. In 2012, a group of Hong Kong residents published a newspaper advertisement depicting mainland visitors and immigrants as locusts. In February 2014, about 100 Hong Kongers harassed mainland tourists and shoppers during what they styled as an "anti-locust" protest in Kowloon. The protest caused a backlash and was widely condemned. In response, the Equal Opportunities Commission of Hong Kong proposed an extension of the territory's race-hate laws to cover mainlanders.
After World War II ended, the relationship between China and Japan gradually improved. However, since 2000, Japan has seen a gradual resurgence of anti-Chinese sentiments. Many Japanese believe that China is using the issue of the countries' checkered history, such as the Japanese history textbook controversies, many past war crimes committed by Japan's military, and official visits to the Yasukuni Shrine (at which a number of war criminals are interred), both as a diplomatic card and to make Japan a scapegoat in domestic politics. The Anti-Japanese Riots in Spring of 2005 also were a source of more anger towards China within the Japanese public. Anti-Chinese sentiments in Japan have been on a sharp rise since 2002. According to Pew Global Attitude Project (2008), unfavorable view of China was 84%, unfavorable view of Chinese people was 73%.
Korea has a long history of both resistance against and subordination to the Chinese empire. Until the arrival of Western imperialism the 19th century, Korea had been part of the sinocentric East Asian regional order. In the early 2000s, a dispute over the history of Goguryo, which both South Korea and China claim as their own, caused tension between the two countries.
During the Three Kingdoms Period (57 BCE - 668), the Goguryeo was attacked by many Chinese dynasties, including the Han, Wei, Yan, Sui, and Tang Dynasty. In the 7th century, the Baekje and Silla kingdoms were raided by the Chinese Tang Dynasty. This caused historical resentment between the two groups. In the 9th century, Chinese pirates and slave traders captured foreigners to sell as slaves in China. The Korean peninsula was a primary target because of its close proximity. As a result of this, Korean admiral Jang Bogo established the Cheonghaejin garrison, and Jang's force swept the Chinese pirates away from the western coast of Korea. During the early Ming period, China demanded tributes of rare animals, food, concubines and eunuchs as tribute from the Korean Joseon Dynasty.
In 1592, Japan invaded Korea and occupied many parts of the peninsula within months. The Korean court requested and received aid from China. Chinese soldiers were sometimes indistinguishable from Japanese enemies, and China took advantage of this to loot properties and kill Koreans. These actions gave more cause for anti-Chinese sentiment.
In 1931, while Korea was dominated by Imperial Japan, there was a dispute between Chinese and Korean farmers in Wanpaoshan, Manchuria. It was highly sensationalized in the Japanese and Korean press, and used as propaganda to increase anti-Chinese sentiment. It caused a series of anti-Chinese riots throughout Korea, starting in Incheon on July 3 and spreading rapidly to other cities. The Chinese claimed that 146 people were killed, 546 wounded, and a considerable number of properties were destroyed. The worst riot occurred in Pyongyang on July 5. In this effect, the Japanese had a considerable influence on sinophobia in Korea.
In the 1960s, South Korean laws directed against foreign property ownership, at a time when most foreign ownership was by ethnic Chinese, led to many Chinese emigrating from South Korea to Taiwan.
Anti-Chinese sentiments in South Korea have been on a steady rise since 2002. According to Pew Global Attitude Project, favorable view of China steadily declined from 66% in 2002 to 48% in 2008, while unfavorable view of China rose from 31% in 2002 to 49% in 2008. According to polls by East Asia Institute, positive view of China's influence declined from 48.6% in 2005 to 38% in 2009, while negative view of Chinese influence rose from 46.7% in 2005 to 50% in 2008.
The turning point of rising anti-Chinese sentiments was the Northeast Project, a controversial Chinese government research project claiming Goguryeo and other various Korean kingdoms, including Gojoseon, Buyeo and Balhae, to be Chinese local states and thus part of historical Chinese territory. The conflict erupted after the Chinese Foreign Ministry in April deleted references of the kingdom from the introduction of Korean history on its Web site and that deletion angered many Koreans. Beijing refused to accept Seoul's demand to restore on its Foreign Ministry Web site the part on Korean history including the ancient kingdom. Many historians and officials in Korea believed the row is at a critical stage in diplomatic relations, with Chinese defiance of Korean requests to reinstate acknowledgment of Goguryeo as a Korean kingdom being seen by Seoul as humiliating and threatening to unravel ties between the two neighbors. This sparked a massive uproar in South Korea when the project was widely publicized in 2004. Amid intensifying criticism against China from the Korean government and public, China dispatched its new Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei to Seoul with the Beijing's promise not to distort the Goguryeo history in its textbooks.
During the Seoul leg of the 2008 Olympic torch relay, over 6,000 Chinese students clashed with protesters. Chinese demonstrators clashed with local activists who rallied to protest the torch relay, citing Beijing's discouraging treatment of North Korea defectors and the regime's crackdown on Tibetans' rioting for independence. With the result of these violence clashes in central Seoul, anti-Chinese sentiments in Korea aroused great indignation toward the Chinese people. The Ministry of Justice of South Korea indicated that it would punish all such demonstrators, regardless of nationality. The Government of South Korea is toughening visa regulations for Chinese students.
During the Sino-Indian War, the Chinese faced anti-national sentiment unleashed by the Indian National Congress-dominated government. Chinese businesses were investigated for links to the Chinese government and many people of Chinese origin were interned in prisons in North India. The Indian government passed the Defence of India Act in December 1962, permitting the "apprehension and detention in custody of any person [suspected] of being of hostile origin." The broad language of the act allowed for the arrest of any person simply for having a Chinese surname, a drop of Chinese blood, or a Chinese spouse. The Indian government incarcerated thousands of Chinese-Indians in an internment camp in Deoli, Rajasthan, where they were held for years without trial. The last internees were not released until 1967. Thousands more Chinese-Indians were forcibly deported or coerced to leave India. Nearly all internees had their properties sold off or looted. Even after their release, the Chinese Indians faced many restrictions in their freedom. They could not travel freely until the mid-1990s.
Due to a thousand years of Chinese occupation and recent territory disputes in the Paracel and Spratly Islands, there are strong anti-Chinese sentiments among the Vietnamese population. While the current government tries to maintain friendly ties with the Chinese government, past regimes from the Tay Son (18th century) to the Republic of Vietnam (20th century) had punitive measures against the Chinese communities. These ranged from outright massacres to restrictive exclusionary laws and forced assimilation. The Socialist Republic of Vietnam however toes the policy to crack down on anti-Chinese demonstrations and criticisms regarding China. Anti-Chinese sentiments however had spiked in 2007 after China formed an administration in the disputed islands, in 2009 when the Vietnamese government allowed the Chinese aluminium manufacturer Chinalco the rights to mine for bauxite in the Central Highlands, and when Vietnamese fishermen were detained by Chinese security forces while seeking refuge in the disputed territories. In 2011, following a spat in which a Chinese Marine Surveillance ship damaged a Vietnamese geologic survey ship off the coast of Vietnam, some Vietnamese travel agencies boycotted Chinese destinations or refused to serve customers with Chinese citizenship. Hundreds of people protested in front of the Chinese embassy in Hanoi and the Chinese consulate in Ho Chi Minh City against Chinese naval operations in the South China Sea before being dispersed by the police.
The Sino-Vietnamese War resulted in the discrimination and consequent emigration of the country's ethnic Chinese, many of whom fled as "boat people". From 1978 to 1979, some 450,000 ethnic Chinese left Vietnam by boat (mainly former South Vietnam citizens fleeing the Vietcong) as refugees or were expelled across the land border with China.
According to journalist Daniel Groos, Sinophobia is omnipresent in modern Vietnam, where "from school kids to government officials, China-bashing is very much in vogue." According to Groos a majority of Vietnamese resent the import and usage of Chinese products, considering them distinctly low status.
Laos, Myanmar and Thailand
In Laos, and Myanmar, anti-Chinese sentiment is frequently associated with Chinese businesses that are perceived to be responsible for destroying or 'stealing' the country's natural resources, or who are responsible for the relocation of citizens from their homes to make way for companies seeking to use the land.
Thailand was generally considered to be Sinophilic. However, in the 1950s, upon learning of an ethnic Chinese Communist plot to overthrow the government, several restrictions were placed on Chinese and their intra-community assembling.
In Cambodia, during the late 1960s an estimated 425,000 ethnic Chinese lived in Cambodia. By 1984, as a result of the Khmer Rouge genocide and emigration, only about 61,400 Chinese remained in the country.
The hatred for Chinese was projected on the ethnic Chinese of Cambodia during 80s. A Vietnamese report had noted "In general, the attitude of young people and intellectuals is that they hate Cambodian-Chinese."
The standoff in Spratly Islands and Scarborough Shoal between China and the Philippines causes the Filipino people to hate China for their 'greed' for the Islands in spite of China's massive territory. Campaigns to boycott Chinese products began to start in 2012. People protest in front of the Chinese Embassy. Another reason is the hatred of products made from China. Toys and dolls Made in China has been found with Lead content dangerous to children. Beauty products for females also have been found to have Mercury and lead on them which can cause aliments like skin cancer.
As with every one of their non-Chinese neighbors, the countries of the Malay Archipelago have an overseas Chinese community with which the local majority occasionally conflicts.
This asymmetrical economic position has incited anti-Chinese sentiment among the poorer majorities. Sometimes the anti-Chinese attitudes turn violent, such as the May 13 Incident in Malaysia in 1969 and the Jakarta riots of May 1998 in Indonesia, in which more than 2,000 people died. During the colonial era, some riots killed tens of thousands of Chinese. During the Indonesian killings of 1965–66, in which more than 500,000 people died, ethnic Chinese were killed and their properties looted and burned as a result of anti-Chinese racism on the excuse that Dipa "Amat" Aidit had brought the PKI closer to China. In the May 1998 riots of Indonesia following the fall of President Suharto, many ethnic Chinese were targeted by Indonesian rioters, resulting in a large number of rapes and looting.
In 2000, Tongan noble Tu'ivakano of Nukunuku banned Chinese stores from his Nukunuku District in Tonga. This followed complaints from other shopkeepers regarding competition from local Chinese. In 2001, Tonga's Chinese community (a population of about three or four thousand people) was hit by a wave racist assaults. The Tongan government did not renew the work permits of more than 600 Chinese storekeepers, and has admitted the decision was in response to “widespread anger at the growing presence of the storekeepers”.
In 2006, Honiara's Chinatown suffered damage when it was looted and burned by rioters following a contested election. Ethnic Chinese businessmen were falsely blamed for bribing members of the Solomon Islands' Parliament. The government of Taiwan was the one that supported the then current government of the Soloman Islands. The Chinese businessmen were mainly small traders from mainland China and had no interest in local politics.
Mongolians traditionally hold very unfavorable views of China. The common stereotype is that China is trying to undermine Mongolian sovereignty in order to eventually make it part of China (the Republic of China has claimed Mongolia as part of its territory, see Outer Mongolia ). Fear and hatred of erliiz (literally, double seeds), a derogatory term for people of mixed Han Chinese and Mongol ethnicity, is a common phenomena in Mongolian politics. Erliiz are seen as a Chinese plot of "genetic pollution" to chip away at Mongolian sovereignty, and allegations of Chinese ancestry are used as a political weapon in election campaigns - though not always with success. Several Neo-Nazi groups opposing foreign influence, especially China's, are present within Mongolia.
In Russia’s Siberia and the Russian Far East, there formerly was a long-standing dispute over territory, which was resolved in 2004. Russia and China officially no longer have territorial disputes and China does not claim land in Russia, however, there is also a perceived fear of a demographic takeover by Chinese immigrants in sparsely populated Russian areas.
Like China's perception in other countries, China's large population, long history and size has been the subject of fear somewhat. China has figured in the Western imagination in a number of different ways as being a very large civilization existing for many centuries with a very large population; however the weakness of China in the beginning of the modern age, rise of People's Republic of China after the Chinese Civil War has dramatically changed the perception of China from a relatively positive light to negative because of the fear of communism in the West, and repeated public accusations against China of human rights abuses.
The European view towards China from the exotic descriptions of The Travels of Marco Polo developed into a patronising superiority as the West (later including Japan) attempted to extend their colonial empires into China. Successful attempts in exporting opium into the Chinese Empire and a series of other commercial and military successes exposed to colonial powers a political fact: China's culture appeared glorious, but its government showed weaknesses that could be exploited for commercial and cultural gain.
Sinophobia became more common as China was becoming a major source of immigrants for the west (including the American West). Numerous Chinese immigrants to North America were attracted by wages offered by large railway companies in the late 19th century as the companies built the transcontinental railroads.
Sinophobic policies (such as the Chinese Exclusion Act, the Chinese Immigration Act of 1923, anti-Chinese zoning laws and restrictive covenants, the policies of Richard Seddon, and the White Australia policy) and pronouncements on the "yellow peril" were in evidence as late as the mid-20th century in the Australia, United States, Canada, and New Zealand.
The Chinese population was active in political and social life in Australia. Community leaders protested against discriminatory legislation and attitudes, and despite the passing of the Immigration Restriction Act in 1901, Chinese communities around Australia participated in parades and celebrations of Australia's Federation and the visit of the Duke and Duchess of York.
Although the Chinese communities in Australia were generally peaceful and industrious, resentment flared up against them because of their different customs and traditions. In the mid-19th century, terms such as "dirty, disease ridden, [and] insect-like" were used in Australia and New Zealand to describe the Chinese.
A poll tax was passed in Victoria in 1855 to restrict Chinese immigration. New South Wales, Queensland, and Western Australia followed suit. Such legislation did not distinguish between naturalised, British citizens, Australian-born and Chinese-born individuals. The tax in Victoria and New South Wales was repealed in the 1860s, but by the 1880s there was another wave of anti-Chinese sentiment. Despite a steady decline in the number of Chinese residents in Australia, the numbers of Chinese and Chinese-Australians in the more visible Chinatowns of Melbourne and Sydney were growing. In 1887, two Chinese Commissioners, the first statesmen from China to visit Australia, arrived to assess the living conditions of Chinese in Australia after numerous requests from Chinese living abroad. In 1888, following protests and strike actions, an inter-colonial conference agreed to reinstate and increase the severity of restrictions on Chinese immigration. This provided the basis for the 1901 Immigration Restriction Act and the seed for the White Australia Policy, which although relaxed over time, was not fully abandoned until the early 1970s. This claim requires a citation.
Number of cases have been reported, related to Sinophobia in the country. Recently, on February 2013, a Chinese football team had reported about the abuses and racism they suffered on Australia Day.
In 1850s, sizable numbers of Chinese immigrants came to British Columbia seeking gold; the region was known to them as Gold Mountain. Starting in 1858, Chinese "coolies" were brought to Canada to work in the mines and on the Canadian Pacific Railway. However, they were denied by law the rights of citizenship, including the right to vote, and in the 1880s, "head taxes" were implemented to curtail immigration from China. In 1907, a riot in Vancouver targeted Chinese and Japanese-owned businesses. In 1923, the federal government passed the Chinese Immigration Act, commonly known as the Exclusion Act, prohibiting further Chinese immigration except under "special circumstances". The Exclusion Act was repealed in 1947, the same year in which Chinese Canadians were given the right to vote. Restrictions would continue to exist on immigration from Asia until 1967, when all racial restrictions on immigration to Canada were repealed, and Canada adopted the current points based immigration system. On June 22, 2006, Prime Minister Stephen Harper offered an apology and compensation only for the head tax once paid by Chinese immigrants. Survivors or their spouses were paid approximately CAD$20,000 in compensation.
Starting with the California Gold Rush in the late 19th century, the United States—particularly the West Coast states—imported large numbers of Chinese migrant laborers. Early Chinese immigrant worked as gold miners, and later on subsequent large labor projects, such as the building of the First Transcontinental Railroad. The decline of the Qing Dynasty in China caused many Chinese to emigrate overseas in search of a more stable life, and this coincided with the rapid growth of American industry. The Chinese were considered by employers as "reliable" workers who would continue working, without complaint, even under destitute conditions.
Chinese migrant workers encountered considerable prejudice in the United States, especially by the people who occupied the lower layers in white society, because Chinese "coolies" were used as a scapegoat for depressed wage levels by politicians and labor leaders. Cases of physical assaults on the Chinese include the Chinese massacre of 1871 in Los Angeles and the murder of Vincent Chin. The 1909 murder of Elsie Sigel in New York, of which a Chinese person was suspected, was blamed on the Chinese in general and led to physical violence. "The murder of Elsie Sigel immediately grabbed the front pages of newspapers, which portrayed Chinese men as dangerous to "innocent" and "virtuous" young white women. This murder led to a surge in the harassment of Chinese in communities across the United States."
Italian-Americans and Irish-Americans, who had once been subject to similar prejudice themselves, were often involved in such assaults, believing that their condition had been worsened by the influx of Chinese laborers.
The emerging American trade unions, under such leaders as Samuel Gompers, also took an outspoken anti-Chinese position, regarding Chinese laborers as competitors to white laborers. Only with the emergence of the international trade union, IWW, did trade unionists start to accept Chinese workers as part of the American working-class.
In the 1870s and 1880s various legal discriminatory measures were taken against the Chinese. These laws, in particular the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, were aimed at restricting further immigration from China. although the laws were later repealed by the Chinese Exclusion Repeal Act of 1943. In particular, even in his lone dissent against Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), then-Supreme Court Justice John Marshall Harlan wrote of the Chinese as: "a race so different from our own that we do not permit those belonging to it to become citizens of the United States. Persons belonging to it are, with few exceptions, absolutely excluded from our country. I allude to the Chinese race."
In the United States elections, 2010, a significant number of negative advertisements from both major political parties focused on a candidates' alleged support for free trade with China which were criticized by Jeff Yang for promoting anti-Chinese xenophobia. Some of the stock images that accompanied ominous voiceovers about China were actually of Chinatown, San Francisco. These advertisements included one produced by Citizens Against Government Waste called "Chinese Professor," which portrays a 2030 conquest of the West by China and an ad by Congressman Zack Space attacking his opponent for supporting free trade agreements like NAFTA, which the ad claimed causes jobs to be outsourced to China.
According to a recent Pew Research Center survey of six African countries, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, and Uganda had higher disapproval towards China compared to last years. While they had higher positive view for United States.
Ghanaians have alleged Chinese miners of illegally seizing jobs, polluting community water supplies, and disturbing agricultural production through their work.
A sixteen-year old illegal Chinese miner was shot in 2012, while trying to escape arrest. After this incident, the Chinese miners needed to arm themselves.
Multiple presidential candidate Michael Sata has often invoked harsh rhetoric against the Chinese commercial presence in Africa's largest copper producing country. Though he failed to win elections thrice, he won the 2011 election. Despite toning down his rhetoric, the investment climate for Zambia was read as uncertain.[original research?]
Historical sinophobia-led violence
- Chinese massacre of 1871
- Rock Springs massacre
- Issaquah riot of 1885
- Tacoma riot of 1885
- Seattle riot of 1886
- Anti-Chinese violence in Washington
There are a variety of derogatory terms referring to China and Chinese peoples. Many of these terms are viewed as racist. However, these terms do not necessarily refer to the Chinese race as a whole; they can also refer to specific policies, or specific time periods in history.
- Chinaman - The term Chinaman is noted as offensive by modern dictionaries, dictionaries of slurs and euphemisms, and guidelines for racial harassment.
- Ching chong - English language to mock people of Chinese ancestry, or other Asians who may look Chinese.
- Chink - Racial slur referring mainly to a person of Chinese ethnicity but sometimes generalized to refer to any person of East Asian descent.
- Chinky - The name "chinky" is the adjectival form of chink and, like chink, is an ethnic slur for Chinese and other Asian people.
- Chonky : refers to a person of Chinese heritage with white attributes whether being a personality aspect or physical aspect.
In Filipino (Tagalog)
- Intsik - is used to refer to refer people of Chinese ancestry including Chinese-Filipinos. The originally neutral term recently gained negative connonotation with the increasing preference of Chinese-Filipinos not to be referred to as instik. The term originally came from "in chiek" a Hokkien term referring to one's uncle. The term has variations, which may be more offensive in tone such as Intsik beho and may used in a deregatory phrase, "Intsik, Intsik, tulo laway" (Chinese, Chinese, drooling saliva).
- Singkit - literally "slant eyes" used to refer to anyone of East Asian ancestry, mainly the Chinese.
- Tsekwa (sometimes spelled Chekwa) - is a slang used by the Filipinos to refer Chinese people.
- chinetoque (m/f) - Derogatory term referring to Asian people.
- 土人 (dojin) - literally "earth people," referring either neutrally to local folk or derogatorily to indigenous peoples and savages, used towards the end of the 19th century and early 20th century by Japanese colonials, being a sarcastic remark regarding backwardsness.
- 特亞人 (tokuajin) - literally "particular Asian people," derogatory term used against Koreans and Chinese.
- 支那 (シナ) (Shina) - Japanese reading of the Chinese character compound "支那" (Zhina in Mandarin Chinese), originally a Chinese transcription of an Indic name for China that entered East Asia with the spread of Buddhism. Its effect when a Japanese person uses it to refer to a Chinese person is considered by some people to be similar to the American connotation of the word "Negro," a word that has harmless etymologies but has gained derogative connotations due to historical context, where the phrase 支那人 (shinajin; Shina person) was used refer to Chinese.
- 짱깨 (Jjangkkae) - Derogatory term referring to Chinese people.
- 섬짱깨 (Seom Jjangkkae) - literally "Island Jjangkkae (Island Chinese bastard)", it referring to Taiwanese people.
- 짱꼴라 (Jjangkkolla) - This term has originated from Japanese term "Chankoro" (淸國奴, Slave of Qing Manchurian). Later, it became a derogatory term that indicates people in China.
- 중공 (中共) (Jung-gong) - literally "Chinese communist", it is generally used to refer to Chinese communists and nationalists, since the Korean War (1950–1953).
- 오랑캐 (Orangkae) - literally "Barbarian", derogatory term used against Han Chinese, Mongolian and Manchus.
- 되놈 (Doenom) - Derogatory term referring to Chinese people. Originally, this term has meant "Manchus". Later, however, it indicates to the people lived in China, especially Han Chinese people.
- 때놈 (Ttaenom) - literally "Dirty bastard", it means some unwashed Chinese people.
- китаёза (kitayóza) (m/f) - Derogatory term referring to Chinese people.
- узкоглазый (uzkoglázy) (m) - Generic derogatory term referring to Asian people.
- Ngô - used during a long feudal history, referring to Chinese people and their dynasties. For example, Nguyen Van Quyen, a safeguard of King Le Chieu Thong, once shouted at Qing soldiers, who blocked the path of Vietnam royal delegation: "Lũ chó Ngô kia sao chúng bay được làm nhục đến vua tao" (Hey, the flock of dogs "Ngo", why do you dare to humiliate our King).
- Tàu (literally "boat") - used to refer to Chinese people in general, can be constructed as derogatory
- khựa - neologism, derogatory term for Chinese people
In Cantonese Chinese
- 蝗蟲 (wong-choong) - literally means 'locust'; used to refer to Chinese people in general; many Hong Kongers equate the influx of Chinese birth tourists and low-skilled or unskilled immigrants with locusts suddenly descending into a field (entering Hong Kong), eat all crops (competing with locals for jobs, claiming benefits and taking up bed spaces in maternity wards to the detriment of local mothers) and leave (having very weak or no connection with Hong Kong)
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