CGTN America: Revisiting the Legacy of 19th Century Chinese Railroad Workers

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As part of that special coverage, correspondent Liu Xu takes an extraordinary look at the origins of anti-Asian hate in a place you might not associate with anything Chinese, Northern Utah.

Screenshot from the story of “Revisiting the Legacy of 19th Century Chinese Railroad Workers”

“When we don’t know someone’s life we don’t know how to empathize with them,” says Christopher W. Merritt, Utah State Historic Preservation officers.

CGTN America releases “Revisiting the Legacy of 19th Century Chinese Railroad Workers”.

With anti-Chinese and anti-Asian attacks on the rise across the U.S., CGTN America reporters have been travelling across the country speaking to victims, law enforcement and community leaders.

As part of that special coverage, correspondent Liu Xu takes an extraordinary look at the origins of anti-Asian hate in a place you might not associate with anything Chinese, Northern Utah.

It’s a remote often barren land that’s rich in history of the Chinese experience in America. So rich that archaeologists are now sifting it for stories.

It’s where many Chinese helped build the transcontinental railroad – a huge news story at the time and so CGTN America’s story features many compelling historical images and film.

Experts are piecing together how the Chinese workers lived, where they built their Chinatowns, how they traded and perhaps most significantly for the present day, how they were treated.

While the landscapes in our report may be beautiful, life on the railroad was not. It was “nasty, brutish and often cut short.”

In fact, as one legend has it, there could be a skeleton of a Chinese worker under every railroad tie.

After the railway was running, many Chinese were sent packing.

Liu Xu also looks at discrimination from the streets of Utah all the way to the halls of the U.S. Congress, which passed the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act – the first U.S. law to prohibit immigration to this country based on nationality.

The story concludes with a look at 19th century anti-Chinese discrimination and why anti-Asian distrust and resentment continues to this day.

“When we don’t know someone’s life we don’t know how to empathize with them,” says Christopher W. Merritt, Utah State Historic Preservation officers.

Reported by Liu Xu

Click here for more about all “Revisiting the Legacy of 19th Century Chinese Railroad Workers” and to view the report: https://newsus.cgtn.com/news/2021-06-02/Revisiting-the-legacy-of-19th-Century-Chinese-railroad-workers-10KLAIUXdSg/index.html https://newsus.cgtn.com/news/2021-06-03/See-how-19th-century-Chinese-faced-and-dealt-with-widespread-racism-10MnRWuA32U/index.html

(This material is distributed by MediaLinks TV, LLC on behalf of CCTV. Additional information is available at the Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.)

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