African Union Condemns Discrimination Against African Residents in Southern ChinaAfrican News, Latest News, West Africa Sunday, April 12th, 2020
(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – African residents of the southern Chinese metropolis Guangzhou have complained that they are experiencing discrimination and being accused of spreading the coronavirus, triggering diplomatic tensions.
People of African origin have been evicted from their homes at short notice, sent to stay in hotels, arbitrarily told to undergo virus tests or placed under 14-day quarantine in spite of not having left the country in a long time, according to media reports.
Guangzhou is home to China’s largest African community.
The head of the AU Commission, Moussa Mahamat, has invited China’s AU ambassador Liu Yuxi “to express our extreme concern at allegations of maltreatment of Africans in Guangzhou,” he Twittered on Saturday.
He called on Beijing to take “immediate remedial measures.”
Last week already, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian stressed that “we treat all foreign nationals equally in China” when asked about the media reports. “We reject differential treatment, and we have zero tolerance for discrimination,” he added.
But he conceded that “occasional incidents and misunderstandings” occur in the effort to defeat the virus and prevent cases from being imported.
He called on authorities to improve their working methods.
The fear of a second wave of coronavirus infections in China – where the virus originated – is increasingly turning against foreigners, since most registered cases are now imported from overseas.
However, 90 per cent of those are Chinese citizens returning home, according to official data.
Last week, the Guangzhou authorities reported that five Nigerians allegedly had tested positive for the coronavirus, triggering Chinese authorities to profile Nigerian residents in China.
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