Hello! My name is Emma Jiao Knuckey and live in Southend on Sea, Essex. Ever since I was little, I had always wanted to go to China. My Godmother lived in Hong Kong and was source of inspiration to go. Upon graduating from university, I did a 21-day tour around China. It was the most amazing experience of my life. People were warm, kind-hearted, outgoing, and passionate. I remember how I cried at The Summer Palace after seeing the depiction of the Anglo-French invading it and the guilt I felt. History is so important and more than ever see it of vital significance in order to fully understand not just China but the world and indeed ourselves.
This also cemented within me a pattern of travelling back forth between China and the UK，initially as a tourist again, a volunteer at The Terracotta Army Museum and the Primary School attached to Northwest University in Xi'an, Shaanxi Province. It is here where I met my husband who was the Assistant to the Volunteer Co-Ordinator and the city where I then studied Mandarin Chinese for a year at Northwest University. I adore this city where I made amazing friends and family for life!
A LOT of good, exciting and sometimes sad things happened during these experiences. Living in a country is definitely different to visiting and I am so happy I did. Even when I experienced things like a group of men trying to grab me into a car by force or people strongly rejecting my then boyfriend and I (my hubby) because I was a foreigner, I have no regrets at all. I have also seen how much people do for each other, how hard people work and how brave people are. Even when people made comments about my nationality, I was blessed to have met amazing friends who just saw me as me and I love them for that and more!
My husband and I married in the UK in 2008, later having our sons David and Alex in 2009 and 2012 respectively. It was an exciting time with the Beijing Olympics occurring and relations between China and the UK going very well with the potential of a "Golden Era" ahead. We have both experienced a lot of hard and good times and even now, we still are learning so much about and from each other. We argue sometimes (as all couples do) and major issues crop up which we tackle openly together. It is not easy but we will get there. Love is hard work, ha ha!
Our sons both have low functioning Autism, Global Delay and Sensory Processing Disorder so we have not returned to China yet. We hope though as the boys grow and develop that we can go together again as a family.
The last 4 years in the UK have been eventful to say the least and not just regarding Brexit. The treatment of international people in the UK has been horrific. Racism has steadily increased and no one ever voted for that. This is our home together equally and no one has the right to abuse another. EU and non-EU citizens have been treated abysmally and sadly still are. It is not acceptable. I remember tweeting to Tim Farron when he was leader during a 'Ask Tim' event, asking him how can we best support everyone in the UK from near and far and was stunned when I got a reply!!! ：😳😊
He replied "It does not matter where you were born, raised or stayed. This is your home". THAT was when I realised that the Liberal Democrats were the party for me! I became a member that year and joined the Chinese Liberal Democrats. 😊
Racial abuse towards the Chinese and greater Asian community has been horrific and has intensified over the years. I reject it in full and want to actively do something about it. You all have shown me time and time again that we can do something peacefully and productively to ensure everyone can be seen, heard to and respected. Social harmony is best obtained when everyone is actively listened to and feels valued. When we see racism and abuse, we need to call it out.
As we know and as I have said before, the pandemic has massively fueled racism in the UK towards the Chinese and Asian Community. Negative comments made by the past American President towards China ("Kong Flu") and Mr Farage now saying "The next war is against China" disgusts me and sadly I anticipate more sad things will happen.
It is very easy to misunderstand people, especially when we factor in differences in culture and experiences while others want to sow discord and fuel tension. We though break through this. We as a group and party share our experiences and views freely, listen to each other actively and take on board different views which means trust, honesty and understanding occur.
I love the newsletter and whilst I am unable to attend events due to caring for my sons, I have found it a source of positivity and progressiveness during dark times. I want to thank all the people who wrote to the newsletter as it meant I could learn so much from you! You open minds and create understanding and unity, even during lockdowns. This Spring Festival, please remember the power you personally possess and a very happy, healthy and better new lunar year ahead! 😊