Widespread media reports of coronavirus-related xenophobia and discrimination in Chinese city

Slogan for campaign to end discrimination against Chinese and Asians during coronavirus pandemic now can be applied, perhaps ironically, to Africans in Guangzhou

In a story appearing in several news outlets, the US and various African countries have criticized what they are referring to as the unfair and discriminatory treatment of their citizens in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou.

Guanzhou has, for some time, had the largest African community of any Chinese city and black residents there say local hostility is nothing unusual.

However, old tensions have flared anew amidst concerns over the coronavirus.

CNN, the New York Times, BBC and Aljazeera, among many other news outlets, have reported on this particular story.

The Africans and African Americans– which include many businessmen, students, and others from places like the United States, Nigeria, Kenya, and Zimbabwe – say they are also being subject to arbitrary coronavirus testing and are still shunned when they test negative.

Individuals have reported being publicly harassed, subject to arrest, eviction and being denied service at hotels and restaurants.

This treatment extends to black people who have spent years in China and who have never left while locals were not being subjected to the same experience, reports indicate.

These accounts contradict the official government explanation that foreign travelers require more testing and isolation to prevent “imported” cases of the coronavirus.

The individual stories are quite alarming:

“I’ve been sleeping under the bridge for four days with no food to eat … I cannot buy food anywhere, no shops or restaurants will serve me,” Tony Mathias, an Ugandan student, told Agence France-Presse (AFP) in an article published Saturday. “We’re like beggars on the street.”

According to a CNN report, widespread accounts hit social media this past week of black tenants being evicted by their landlords over what they feel is unfair treatment and discrimination.

CNN claims to have interviewed over a dozen black people living in Guangzhou who claim that they were tested for coronavirus and home- quarantined despite not having any contact with anyone with the virus.

An Aljazeera article indicated that with the Wuhan outbreak seemingly under control, official efforts have turned their attention to preventing what authorities have been referring to, as imported cases that may be behind a supposed second wave of the virus.

The article went on to indicate that there were 114 new corona cases since last Thursday and 16 of those were Africans.

African Ambassadors in China who have written to the country’s top diplomat, Wang Yi, highlighted several of the reports from Africans in Ghuangzou including ejections from hotels in the middle of the night, the seizure of passports, threats of visa revocation and arrest or deportation.

The letter addressed the concern that the false impression was being spread that Africans were responsible for the spread of the virus.

The United States, for its part, put out a security alert via the US Embassy to American citizens entitled, “Discrimination against African-Americans in Guangzhou.”

The alert, put out on Saturday, said that “police ordered bars and restaurants not to serve clients who appear to be of African origin,” and local officials have launched mandatory testing and self-quarantine for “anyone with ‘African contacts.’”

Chinese officials have denied there has been any discriminatory practice against Africans or African Americans in China.

Citing, at one point, their efforts to quell false rumours that 300,000 Black people in Ghuangzhou were causing a new wave of infections.

Foreign affairs official, Liu Baochun, told a news conference on Sunday that anti-virus measures were being taken for anyone who entered the country from across the border regardless of race, nationality or gender.

This echoed China’s foreign ministry spokesman’s,  Zhao Lijian, statement on Thursday:

“Since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, China and African countries have always supported each other and have always fought against the virus jointly.”
He went on to say, “I would like to emphasize that the Chinese government treats all foreigners in China equally, opposes any differentiated practices targeted at specific groups of people, and has zero tolerance for discriminatory words and actions.”

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6 Comments

  1. Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
    April 17, 2020

    In the Chinese literature the Blacks were called li-min, Kunlung, Ch’iang (Qiang), Yi and Yueh.
    The founders of the Xia Dynasty and the Shang Dynasties were blacks. These blacks were called Yueh and Qiang. The modern Chinese are descendants of the Zhou. The second Shang Dynasty (situated at Anyang) was founded by the Yin.
    As a result this dynasty is called Shang-Yin. The Yin or Classical/Oceanic Mongoloid type is associated with the Austronesian speakers ( Kwang-chih Chang, “Prehistoric and early historic culture horizons and traditions in South China”, Current Anthropology, 5 (1964) pp.359-375 :375).
    Djehuti your Austronesian or Oceanic ancestors were referred to in the Chinese literature as Yin, Feng, Yen, Zhiu Yi and Lun Yi.
    Every other complexion of people alive in the world; owe their very life’s to Black people; and that have been proved via DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid); which can be traced back to the oldest exoskeleton ever found, and taught in biology as Eve, proved…

  2. Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
    April 16, 2020

    The First Chinese By Dr. Clyde Winters Edited by Ogu-Eji-Ofo-AnnuItIt

    It can be reasonably assumed that the first inhabitants of the chinese mainland were Black Brown Africans from East, West and Central regions of Africa given that the earliest human skeletal remains in China are of “Negro” (or “Negritos” a psuedo-scientific term commonly used today) people.

    The next oldest skeletal type after the period of predominance of the African immigrants were the Classical Mongoloids or Austronesian speakers. Archaeological research makes it clear that “Negroids” (read: Central African skeletal types) were very common to ancient China. F. Weidenreich in Bull. Nat. Hist. Soc. Peiping 13, (1938-30) noted that the one of the earliest skulls from north China found in the Upper Cave of Chou-k’ou-tien, was of a Oceanic Negroid/ Melanesoid ” (p.163). This is the so-called Peking Man.
    This would place people in China during the Mesolithic looking like African/Negro people , not native…

  3. Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque
    April 16, 2020

    Note: “The Africans or blacks that founded civilization in China were often called Li Min (black headed people) by the Zhou dynasts.

    This term has affinity to the Sumero-Akkadian term Sag-Gig-Ga “Black Headed People”.

    However; the modern day Chines ensured they erased and remove every trace of the existence of Black people in China.

    The fact is the Chines are indeed Black people; so it is difficult to understand their hate for Blacks.

    Black people are treated like dogs in China; Black people are not allowed to even enter into some restaurants, it matters not who they are, and the amount of money they have. 

    If one visit nearby Cambodia, the ancient presence of Black people can be found all over Cambodia; the Chines are in denial of their origin; nevertheless, just as good always overcome evil, the truth always prevail, lies never stand the test of time!

    Life began on the continent of Africa, the location of the Garden of Eden is in a region of Ethiopia.

  4. Batibou River
    April 15, 2020

    Skerrits best friends are showing their true colours. Who needs friends like that???

  5. Bwa-Banday
    April 14, 2020

    Unfortunately, the Chinese have always been a racist society that only respects WHITE skinned people. They laugh with you, hang out with you but only if they have something to gain from that relationship. They will spend BIG money to sleep with black/ African women in Hong Kong and Guangzhou (Big Business) just because they think its exotic but really careless about black people. Just ask some of our ladies who have studied there 8) 8) .

    In terms of nationality, they only respect Australians, British and Americans. They consider and refers to Indians and Pakistanis as snakes. China’s only aim is to dominate and as a result they prey on small, poor and less developed countries.
    If you look closely they don’t mess with Cuba, Trinidad or Guyana because these people have their number. In Dca we don’t have a choice because they own us. Thank you El Supremo!

  6. Power
    April 14, 2020

    They have always hated black people.

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