Chinese YouTuber links China’s political system to rise in racism and discrimination against Africans

By Samuel Ouma

Africans were victims of harassment in China
Africans were victims of harassment in China

Simon Yu, a Chinese YouTuber residing in Shangahi, China’s biggest city, has disclosed that racism is not a serious offense in the Asian country to due to its political system he labelled one cut policy.

He said the local authorities do not care about discrimination, be it towards foreigners or their own people. Speaking about the recent mistreatment of Africans in the city of Guangzhou, he blamed the features of the country’s political system saying the policy not only affect Africans but foreigners as well.

“..Recently our African community had a rough time in China. Many were evicted from their apartments and could not find places to live because most hotels were told not to accept them, thus some ended up sleeping in the streets which was horrible. Restaurants, shops etc did not welcome them.  This thing does not only affect our African friends here, it also influences other foreigners in China as well,” said Yu.

According to Yu, Chinese officials gain political mileage from their seniors unlike in Africa and other parts of the world where leadership is based on democracy.  Yu said they are evaluated based on two factors Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and stability noting that discriminatory policies are likely to be enacted in China at the expense of human rights if they deemed to contribute towards economic development.

“Our country has paid a lot of attention to economic development for past several decades. If you can bring a huge economic increase for your, it is more likely to get promotion from your superiors. The second thing is stability—if there’s a serious traffic accident, for example, that killed multiple people or some factory blowup because of safety, then you’ve probably reached the end of your career. This is one of the reasons why China gets developed very fast,” he added.

A video clip circulated in Social Media showed Africans being beaten and ejected from hotels, apartments etc and the act sparked public outcry from African leaders. However, Yu averred that it is the fear of instability and decline in economy due to Covid-19 that forced Chinese officials to institute measures which violated property rights and personal privacy. The leaders reacted to avert the spread of the novel virus to avoid going back to lockdown according to him.

The Chinese national stated some examples to support his arguments. First, vehicles bearing Wuhan license plates were barred from entering many regions after the city was totally locked down. Customers in possession of Wuhan ID cards were not granted entry into restaurants, hotels and parks. Reason being, other regions did not want the virus to interfere with their economic growth. 

Second, the inferno outbreak that claimed 19 lives in Beijing in 2017. It was reported the flats razed down by fire did not meet safety standard and in rejoinder, the government brought down similar structures in the region to curb the similar occurrence. Several migrants and low-income residents were affected by the local authorities’ decision.

Finally, cars with non-Beijing license plates are allowed to drive in the city for 84 days in a year in a bid to reduce congestion and pollution.

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