US accuses China of 'xenophobia' in treatment of Africans

accreditation

The United States on Saturday accused Chinese authorities of "xenophobia" toward Africans, after coronavirus cases among Nigerians unleashed a wave of evictions in the city of Guangzhou.

Africans in southern China's largest metropolis told AFP they had been kicked out of lodgings and then turned away from hotels over suspicions aroused by the Nigerian cases.

READ | 'Go to another city' - African community targeted in China coronavirus crackdown

"The abuse and mistreatment of Africans living and working in China is a sad reminder of how hollow the PRC-Africa partnership really is," a State Department spokesperson said, using the acronym for the Peoples Republic of China.

"At a time when we should be supporting one another to recover from a pandemic PRC officials recklessly hid from the world, Chinese officials are busy evicting African students into the streets without food or shelter."

The US in recent weeks has denounced Beijing's lack of transparency at the start of the coronavirus epidemic, which was first detected in late 2019 in the Chinese city of Wuhan, saying it delayed action in the rest of the world resulting in thousands of deaths.

War of words

LIVE | All the latest coronavirus and lockdown updates

Despite a recent truce in their war of words, skirmishes have continued between the two world powers already locked in a long-term strategic confrontation.

"It's unfortunate but not surprising to see this kind of xenophobia toward Africans by Chinese authorities," the State Department spokesperson added.

"Anyone who watches Chinese engagement in projects across Africa recognises this kind of abusive and manipulative behaviour."

The treatment Africans in Guangzhou also drew an expression of "extreme concern" on Saturday from the president of the African Union.

Since coming to office in 2017, the administration of US President Donald Trump has shown little interest in Africa.

But it has repeatedly warned about China's intentions in the continent, arguing that its investments and loans to African countries are less than friendly.

"Promises made to Africans, including those who work and study in China, are never kept as advertised," the State Department spokesperson said.

"To treat people - especially students - this way during a global public health crisis says everything about how the PRC views their so-called 'partnership' with Africa."

- Stay up to date and stay healthy. Subscribe to Health24’s Daily Dose newsletter for important updates on the spread of the coronavirus. Register and manage your newsletters in the new News24 app by clicking on the Profile tab

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
The ANC's leadership race is heating up. Who do you think will be elected party president at Nasrec in December?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has got it in the bag
6% - 213 votes
I foresee a second term for Cyril Ramaphosa
81% - 2782 votes
Don’t discount a Zweli Mkhize win
12% - 420 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
17.96
-0.7%
Rand - Pound
19.94
-2.6%
Rand - Euro
17.60
-1.3%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.66
-0.2%
Rand - Yen
0.12
-0.4%
Gold
1,659.71
-0.0%
Silver
18.82
-0.4%
Palladium
2,201.50
+2.4%
Platinum
868.00
+0.2%
Brent Crude
89.32
+3.4%
Top 40
56,921
-0.9%
All Share
63,264
-0.9%
Resource 10
59,793
+3.2%
Industrial 25
76,769
-2.3%
Financial 15
13,707
-2.9%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE