China has vowed zero tolerance discrimination against Africans, and promised measures for improved treatment of Africans in its southern city of Guangzhou, following recent reports of mistreatment perpetrated by locals linking Africans to the risk of imported cases of COVID-19.
Last week, several media organisations reported scenarios of Africans being forced out of apartments and hotels in Guangzhou, a city that hosts the largest number of Africans.
The news caused waves of reactions on the African continent, among which the African Union Commission Chairperson tweeted that his office had summoned the Chinese envoy to the AU over the reports.
Yesterday, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) spoke out, condemning the racist practices.
In a press conference held yesterday, Zhao Lijian the MFA Spokesperson announced zero tolerance to discrimination.
“All foreigners are treated equally. We reject differential treatment, and we have zero tolerance on discrimination. Since the outbreak, the authorities in Guangdong attach high importance to the treatment of foreign patients, including African nationals, he said.
“Specific plans and proper arrangements are made to protect their life and health to the best of our ability, thanks to which we were able to save the lives of some African patients in severe or critical conditions.”
Zhao also announced measures to provide health management services without differentiation, to designate hotels for the accommodation of foreigners required to undergo medical observation and adopt price adjustment for those in financial difficulties.
He also promised to set up an effective communication mechanism with foreign consulates-general in Guangzhou; and to reject all racist and discriminatory remarks.
“The Chinese people always see in the African people partners and brothers through thick and thin. China-Africa friendship is unbreakable as it is deeply rooted in this land,” he said.
“China and Africa are good friends, partners and brothers. Our friendship is forged on the basis of joint efforts to seek national independence, liberation, economic development and better livelihood in the past decades. Such time-tested friendship is a treasure for both Chinese and African people.
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