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According to figures from Statistics Netherlands from 2019, 969,980 people in the Netherlands have an Asian migration background. In addition, 217,767 expats from Asia also live in the Netherlands.

At the end of 2011, the Chinese population group was measured in terms of size as the fifth group of non-Western immigrants in the Netherlands. Some 77,000 of them come from China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. In addition, approximately 25,000 of them originally come from Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam and Suriname. Many of them came to the Netherlands for work or for family formation and family reunification. In addition, there are also “knowledge migrants” who came to the Netherlands for their studies and who have a lot of highly skilled workers. The Chinese mainly live in the larger cities of the Netherlands. In 2008, 37 percent of those who came after the Netherlands before 2000 lived in Rotterdam, Amsterdam, The Hague, Utrecht, Eindhoven and Arnhem, while only 15 percent of the entire population of the Netherlands lives there.

Dutch people with an Asian migration background
Expats from Asia


The Chinese community is considered a “model minority” because their members are often among the highly educated and most economically successful Dutch. They also owe this status to their cultural tendency not to want to cause problems. Many Dutch people take advantage of this resigned attitude to mock their Chinese compatriots by means of “jokes”, “humor” and “satire”. The paragon of this is the corona song of Radio 10 DJ Lex Gaarthuis. However, the scientific research of sociologist Simon Weaver shows that the public perceives a hidden racist statement packaged as a joke, humor or satire as more convincing than an overtly racist statement. Racism and discrimination against Southeast and East Asians has a long history, both in the Netherlands and in the former Dutch colonies such as the Dutch East Indies and Suriname.

hey chinkeye! - it's just a joke


The corona song of Radio 10 DJ Lex Gaarthuis purposefully establishes a link between the Chinese and the coronavirus at a time when racism and discrimination against Southeast and East Asians has grown alarmingly. This includes not only intimidating verbal abuse in the street, but also insults and threats that defamate homes. There is even physical violence. For example, 16-year-old Yanii in Zaandam was kicked in the head while 24-year-old Cindy in Tilburg was beaten in such a way that she suffered a concussion and lost consciousness, after which her body was also worked with a knife. The Public Prosecution’s decision not to prosecute Gaarthuis leaves Southeast and East Asian Dutch people no choice but to exercise their own legal rights to finally end racism and discrimination against them.

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