On the 3rd September 2010 The Guardian published an interview with Morrissey by Simon Armitage in which Morrissey made an ill-advised but figurative barb at China to convey his incredulity at their inhumane treatment of animals:
“Did you see the thing on the news about their treatment of animals and animal welfare? Absolutely horrific. You can’t help but feel that the Chinese are a subspecies.”
He was accused of genocidal racism and, not grasping that he was being accused of genocidal racism, he tried again to explain that China is very cruel to animals:
If anyone has seen the horrific and unwatchable footage of the Chinese cat and dog trade – animals skinned alive – then they could not possibly argue in favour of China as a caring nation. There are no animal protection laws in China and this results in the worst animal abuse and cruelty on the planet. It is indefensible. (Morrissey, The Guardian, September 2010)
On a side note China has been particularly cruel to animals, the legacy of Mao’s brand of Communism, that caused a catastrophic famine and framed kindness as bourgeois indulgence.
But China was beside the point – the racism accusation was made to punish him for being difficult.
And is routinely paraphrased into ‘he called the Chinese a subspecies‘ to demonise him.