Chinese netizens are in shock after an Amnesty International report published on Thursday revealed that Chinese people, along with those in the UK and Germany, have the most welcoming attitudes towards refugees.

The first Refugee Welcome Index surveyed more than 27,000 people across 27 countries. It asked people whether they are willing to let refugees live in their homes, neighbourhoods, towns and countries.

46 percent of those surveyed in China said that they would welcome refugees into their own home, the highest among all countries, while 29 percent of those surveyed in the UK said they would allow refugees into their homes.

East Nanjing Road in Shanghai. Photo: Wikicommons.

86 percent of those interviewed agreed to the statement that the Chinese government should do more to help refugees fleeing war and persecution.

Netizens, however, were sceptical of the results.”Those surveyed didn’t understand the question, right?” said one on Weibo. “Why was there such a huge mistake?” said another.

“Even those from other provinces are discriminated against, why would they welcome refugees?” said another.

Netizens’ comments on Weibo. Photo: Weibo screenshot.

“Of course it’s like that, from the establishment of the country, China seems to have accepted 4 million refugees, em…although [their background] pretty similar, they’re all Chinese…” said one.

“Whatever it is, it doesn’t matter whether we say we welcome or not, whatever the spokesperson says is what it is,” said one.

Discrimination against those from other provinces, especially migrant workers, has long been a phenomenon in China.

The country also did not take many Syrian refugees earlier this year, saying that the conflict was caused by Western countries and was thus their responsibility.

Chantal Yuen

Chantal Yuen is a Hong Kong journalist interested in issues dealing with religion and immigration. She majored in German and minored in Middle Eastern studies at Princeton University.