Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
Africans living in China have complained about ill treatment allegedly meted out to them by Chinese authorities following the outbreak of coronavirus.
In a letter signed by all African Community in Guangzhou, China, and sent to the African Union, Foreign Offices in China, including international media outfits such as CNN, CGTN, BBC, Aljazeera, the African nationals said it became necessary to inform all relevant Chinese authorities, African Embassies, Consulates and organisations of the ordeal Africans in China were going through.
The group said the inhuman treatment, hatred, and outright discrimination of Africans in Guangzhou was beyond expression.
The African nationals said prior to the outbreak of the pandemic, it was becoming impossible for black persons, including students, to rent living apartments, which has forced forced several of them to live in hotels.
“Now, with the pandemic outbreak, many are being turned out from their homes and those living in hotels are being evicted. Many are living in the streets now. We now wonder if China is at war with Africa; where is the China–Africa Friendship Cooperation under the One Belt One Road Initiative?
“From available information, we know that at least, 99 per cent of Africans tested for the virus so far have returned negative and most have received the health certificate. Yet, the story going round is that black people are carriers or potential carriers of the coronavirus. We are at a loss as to where this discrimination and hate is coming from. If black Africans cannot live in homes and hotels refuse to admit them and there are no flights for those wishing to go back home, what are we expected to do?” the Africans in China queried.
They said recently, Chinese suppliers encouraged their African clients to resume trade and visit China, saying that normalcy had returned.
“We have been in China for many years and have never experienced this sort of discrimination. In as much as we agree that these are unusual times, yet it is inconceivable that black people would ever be treated this way in China. Our people are willing and have submitted to all health checks when asked to do so, yet we are hounded as non-human beings.
“Black Africans living around Hui Qiao Garden are being threatened to be taken away to a quarantine facility even after being tested and returned negative. As we write, about ten African community leaders in Guangzhou are technically under house arrest using the term quarantine. These actions are difficult to comprehend when you consider the fact that these are people whose official test results came back negative, just one or two days ago.”