BEIJING – The Chinese government has said it can’t discriminate against its “African brothers” following reports of torture and racism amid lockdown over coronavirus.
Uganda and Kenya among several African countries that have protested to Beijing over the continued mistreatment of people of black colour as the country moves to contain the spread of coronavirus.
But China Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian said during this period of lockdown, they have not been mistreating any foreigner.
“During our fight against the coronavirus, the Chinese government has been attaching great importance to the life and health of foreign nationals in China. All foreigners are treated equally. We reject differential treatment, and we have zero tolerance for discrimination,” he said.
“Since the outbreak, the authorities in Guangdong attach high importance to the treatment of foreign patients, including African nationals. Specific plans and proper arrangements are made to protect their life and health to the best of our ability, thanks to which we were able to save the lives of some African patients in severe or critical conditions,” he said.
See full statement below
Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian’s Remarks on Guangdong’s Anti-epidemic Measures Concerning African Citizens in China
Faced with COVID-19, an abrupt global public health crisis, all countries are taking containment measures to prevent it from further spreading. China has achieved remarkable progress at this stage thanks to our most comprehensive, rigorous and thorough measures, but we are still facing great risks of imported cases and domestic resurgence. Particularly, as the pandemic spreads all over the world, imported cases are causing mounting pressure.
China and Africa are good friends, partners and brothers. Our friendship is forged on the basis of joint efforts to seek national independence, liberation, economic development and better livelihood in the past decades. Such time-tested friendship is a treasure for both Chinese and African people. Humanity shines through the darkness of the epidemic. After the Ebola epidemics broke out in three West African countries in 2014, the Chinese government provided assistance at the earliest time possible and fought side by side with the African countries and people. Now faced with the COVID-19 pandemic, China and Africa are again tiding over difficulties hand in hand, and our friendship is again elevated. We will not forget the support from Africa during our most difficult times. While overcoming difficulties at home, we also give love and care to all African citizens in China, especially African students. As the situation is getting more severe in Africa, the Chinese government and people have urgently delivered batches of supplies to the continent. Our assistance, conveying deep friendship for our African brothers and sisters, demonstrates our fine tradition of mutual assistance and mutual support, and has been highly acclaimed by African countries and the African Union. While arduously fight the virus at home, China has donated large amounts of test kits, masks, protective suits, goggles, face shields, forehead thermometers, medical-use gloves, shoe covers, ventilators and other supplies to the African Union and African countries. We will continue helping our African brothers to the best of our ability.
During our fight against the coronavirus, the Chinese government has been attaching great importance to the life and health of foreign nationals in China. All foreigners are treated equally. We reject differential treatment, and we have zero tolerance for discrimination. Since the outbreak, the authorities in Guangdong attach high importance to the treatment of foreign patients, including African nationals. Specific plans and proper arrangements are made to protect their life and health to the best of our ability, thanks to which we were able to save the lives of some African patients in severe or critical conditions.
The Guangdong authorities attach great importance to some African countries’ concerns and are working promptly to improve their working method. The measures include: to provide health management services without differentiation, to designate hotels for the accommodation of foreigners required to undergo medical observation and adopt price adjustment for those in financial difficulties; to set up effective communication mechanism with foreign consulates-general in Guangzhou; and to reject all racist and discriminatory remarks. The Chinese people always see in the African people partners and brothers through thick and thin. China-Africa friendship is unbreakable as it is deeply rooted in this land. African friends can count on getting fair, just, cordial and friendly reception in China. The foreign ministry will stay in close communication with the Guangdong authorities and continue responding to the African side’s reasonable concerns and legitimate appeals.
The virus knows no borders. The pandemic, a challenge to all mankind, can only be defeated through concerted international efforts. With mutual understanding, mutual support and cooperation, we are ready to continue working with African friends to achieve the final victory.