Africa is perturbed by the ongoing racist attacks inflicted against African migrants in China- the African Union describes these attacks as “unacceptable”.
On Wednesday, the Chinese Ambassador to African Union, Liu Yuxi, was summoned to the Commission to explain the horrifying experience Africans in China are being subjected to.
Africa hosts over a million Chinese engaged in all sorts of work ranging from construction, mining and trading- they risk retaliation based on various social media messages denouncing mistreatment of Africans in China.
The Chinese accuse Africans of importing the deadly Coronavirus into their country and this has prompted all landlords, employers and hotels to evict all Africans without discrimination.
During the three month lockdown in China, Africans were not touched but hell broke loose after the lockdown was lifted. Many have been evicted from their homes, barred from restaurants and forced to sleep in the streets under Chinese anti-virus measures.
The Chinese government, after quelling the original COVID-19 outbreak in the city of Wuhan, has been focusing on cases suspected of being imported by travellers from abroad.
Guangzhou Province in china nicknames;Little Africa’ hosts a total of 16,000 Africans – it is home to Asia’s largest African migrant population. There is no official figure of Africans living China.
Announcements and notices have been stamped onto doors to public buildings, hotels, restaurants and transport reading; “Black people are not allowed to enter.”
African-Americans have also reported that some businesses and hotels are refusing to do business with them, the alert said.
Yugo an African living in Guangzhou says “Foreigners cannot buy properties; don’t have any financial security and no legal rights to their kids.”
Jin Qigang a chinese national in Guangzhou says that Most Chinese have never seen foreigners in their lives, so they are very afraid of them, even to touch them or talk.
African diplomats in Beijing, in a protest note have demanded the cessation of forceful testing, quarantine and other inhuman treatments meted out to Africans.
Meanwhile, Chinese Ambassador to the African Union, Amb. Liu Yuxi told the AU that the Chinese whose social media post caused the unfortunate incident has been arrested.
He also mentioned that two hotels have been secured for the affected Africans and the cost would be borne by the Chinese Government. Furthermore, seized passports and personal belongings have been retrieved and handed over to their rightful owners, Amb. Yuxi added.
“I don’t know where I will sleep tonight,” a man from Ghana says in a nighttime video, luggage strewn on the streets. “We are Nigerians, Ugandans and Ghanaians; we are stranded now.”
Amb. Yuxi has also expressed overall regret for what had happened and intimated China’s determination to use this as a lesson to improve relations with their African brothers.
Diplomacy analysts say that for years, Africa has been a key focus for Chinese diplomacy and investment, especially as the United States lost influence in the continent, but the controversy over the treatment of African migrants will jeopardize those efforts.