Coronavirus News Asia

Africans complain about harassment in Guangzhou

While complaints grow about the treatment of Chinese people living in the West, who are being blamed for the spread of the “Chinese virus,” tens of thousands of Africans living on the mainland say they are now being singled out and harrassed.

Africans living or doing business in China feel they are being maligned as the country shores up its defense and checks to stave off a new wave of infections.

There have been posts and reports about fisticuffs between Africans and police and health inspectors in Guangzhou this month, and nerves are still a little frayed in some neighborhoods in the largest urban center in southern China, which is home to one of the largest overseas African communities in Asia.

It has been revealed that Nigeria’s consul-general in Guangzhou rescued three of his nationals last weekend after Chinese police and paramedics in hazmat gear tried to confiscate the passports of the Nigerian businessmen and bundle them into an ambulance. The diplomat rushed to the scene and stepped in.

Consul-General Anozie Madaubuchi Cyril, wearing a mask, was seen protesting in English in a video clip circulating online.

“If you want your policy to work, shut down Guangzhou and let everyone including the Chinese remain indoors for 14 days. If you do that, the issue of discrimination will not be there … But if you are only picking Africans, that is the highest humiliation anyone can get,” said the incensed diplomat.  

He complained that Guangzhou authorities had not communicated with the consulate before “going to all the Nigerian houses and asking people to come out for quarantine.”

Guangzhou has one of the largest overseas African communities in Asia. The city is sometimes called the ‘capital of the third world.’ Photos: WeChat

Guangzhou, the capital of southern Guangdong province, has had many African merchants and illegal immigrants since the 1990s as the bourgeoning trade and logistics hub is a vital entrepôt for the flow of cheap garments and electronic gadgets from China to the continent.

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