Discrimination against Africans in China barbaric

By Samuel Ouma

Some incidents should not be happening, especially during this era of civilization. The main aim of education is to liberate us from primordial ways of life and archaic perceptions; however, this is still far from the reality.

It is disturbing to hear people are being discriminated against based on their colour, race or religion in this age. Where on earth do you that? It is quite unfortunate that the country of a higher calibre like China has emerged as the latest culprit.

The Asian country came in the limelight following mistreatment, its citizens meted on black people in its Southern city of Guangzhou in Guangdong Province. The Chinese nationals alleged the people of black origin who are majorly from Africa continent and US are spreading the coronavirus.

The reports indicated the African students and expatriates in China were evicted from their homes and hotels, forced to undergo covid-19 testing and 14-days self-quarantine without evidence showing that they had travelled outside the country or had any close contact with the novel virus patients.

“…Consternations the discrimination and stigmatization of Africans whereby they are made to forcefully, and in a very crude manner to undergo epidemic investigation and Nucleic Acid Test, fourteen (14) days quarantine even if they had not travelled outside their jurisdictions, not come into contact with infected persons, not had close contact or showing any symptoms of the COVID-19,” reads part of a letter written by the African Group of Ambassadors to top Chinese diplomat Wang Yi.

A video footage that went viral on Social Media showed how Africans were being humiliated, beaten and forced to sleep in streets sparking outcry in the continent.

The African governments condemned the incidents demanding the explanation from the Chinese government. However, to mitigate such occurrences in future, a stern action should be taken by Africa even if it calls for cutting the diplomatic ties. Oral or written explanations by offenders are not enough, people need actions.  Africa is the main targets of race-based discrimination since colonialism and it is high time for its leaders to face the reality.

Meanwhile, I would like to commend the African Union (AU), African Groups of Ambassadors and the governments of Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana and many others and US for speaking against the stigmatisation of Africans in China.

“Videos and stories from #Guangzhou are appalling. Abuse and xenophobia has no place in our fight against this global pandemic. Chinese authorities must do more to stop these attacks against Africans living and working in China,” Tibor Nagy, a top Department of State official for Africa, posted on Twitter.

African Union Commission chair Moussa Faki Mahamat said, “My Office invited the Chinese Ambassador to the AU, Mr Liu Yuxi, to express our extreme concern at allegations of maltreatment of Africans in Guangzhou plus called for immediate remedial measures in line with our excellent relations. The African group in Beijing is also engaging with the govt.”

“We immediately demand the cessation of forceful testing, quarantine and other inhuman treatments meted out to Africans in Guangdong Province in particular and the whole of China and also demands that Africans are treated the same as Chinese and other nationals in the fight against COVID-19,” wrote the African Group of Ambassadors.

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