Helen Chuah has become the first Malaysian Chinese Mayor of Colchester, UK. Prima facie, another ground breaking moment in 'British Chinese' politics following Thomas Chan, the first Chinese mayor in 2009.
However, I, BBCZeitgeist, find it rather perplexing how a humble immigrant nurse managed to become the UK's first female Chinese Mayor, in Essex of all places.
Historically, women have struggled for political reflective representation, currently there are 144 female MP's in parliament compared with 504 male MP's. Yet, in the European Parliament, 35% of MEP's are female, about half of UK Labour MEP's are female, indeed the only British Chinese MEP is female - Anna Lo. In a male dominated world of politics, how do British Chinese females compete on equal footing or in the case of Anna Lo et al, get ahead of Chinese men?
The five most high profile and successful British Chinese female politicians have much in common. With the exception of Mee Ling Ng OBE for whom I have been unable to ascertain any information about her private life, none of the other four Chinese female politicians were born in the UK nor are they married to Chinese men.
Helen Chuah, born in Malaysia, migrated to the UK in 1971 to work as a nurse, rising to a local St Anne’s councillor and the Mayor of Colchester. But how?
Its quite simple, she is married to the former Mayor of Colchester - Councillor Mike Hogg.
Helen Chuah with her husband Mike Hogg - former Mayor Of Colchester
Anna Lo, born in Hong Kong, a Chinese female Immigrant, the first Chinese to be elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly and the first Chinese born in Hong Kong (China) to sit in the European parliament. How did she do it? A very revealing interview here: http://www.newsletter.co.uk/lifestyle/features/i_have_perfect_life_says_alliance_s_lo_1_1880515
"My family in Hong Kong are very wealthy, with maids and chauffeurs."
"My (White) ex-husband was political correspondent with the Belfast Telegraph so through him I met a lot of senior politicians."
Did Anna Lo raise her mixed race Eurasian children to appreciate her ancestral home - China?
Last year her oldest son Conall Hon Watson was arrested in London as part of protests over China's human rights abuses in Tibet. Former UK student of the year Conall, 26, helped preparations for the protest after abseiling down Westminster Bridge and hanging a huge Free Tibet banner.
Is that how she raises her son to love her motherland? Was she ashamed of her son's anti-Chinese antics?
"I support my son completely. I am extremely proud of him. It's important that people understand both he and I have nothing against the Chinese people but against the Chinese government,"
If there is one phrase that encapsulates anti-China Sinophobic diatribe on a par with "I'm not racist but...," it is ..."I'm not against the Chinese people, but I'm against the Chinese government."
Anna Lo's Favourite country? Clearly not China.
"I love the United States"
Who is Anna Lo's Hero?
"Aung San Suu Kyi"
Nobel winning political prisoner, Aung San Suu Kyi studied and lived in England, she married the late Michael Aris (White husband), before returning to Burma on a platform of westcentric democratic human rights against her own country of origin. Sounds familiar?
Example 3, Liberal Democrat Merlene Emerson, Singaporean Chinese immigrant is married to a White male of Jewish descent. On her blog http://merlene.org.uk/en/article/2009/183027/what-s-in-a-name, she said...
Just as some with Jewish or Germanic names had chosen to anglicise theirs in the last century, many of us have taken on names that help us fit in. I was happy to adopt my husband's name when I married.
Example 4, former Baroness Lydia Dunn - First Chinese peer in the House of Lords, is married to Michael Thomas, former Attorney General of Hong Kong.
In politics, nepotism and cronyism are part of the furniture, Helen Chuah's rise to political office is just another story of a self hating Asian female (immigrant) marrying very influential non-Chinese (White) men to get ahead.