Chinese government commits to dealing with discrimination against Kenyans in Guangzhou after uproar

Some Africans sleeping in the streets in China after a wave of xenophobia attacks. [Photo Nation]

We have zero-tolerance for discrimination, the Chinese government has assured Kenyans in light of heartbreaking reports of mistreatment of Africans in Guangzhou and Wuhan cities. 

“All foreigners are treated equally. We reject differential treatment, and we have zero tolerance for discrimination,” Chinese Foreign Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian on Sunday said.

On Friday last week, Kenyans gave a tall tale of discrimination which has now seen them evicted from their houses forcing them to spend cold nights in the streets.

The discrimination is so bad they couldn’t get services in some shopping malls. Some have locked themselves in their houses on fear of being attacked for their “skin colour” in a new wave of xenophobic attacks where African citizens are being accused of spreading coronavirus.

Kenya’s Foreign Affairs Ministry led by Raychelle Omamo on receiving the complaints last week assured Kenyans that “the government of China takes a serious view of the situation, and that the local authorities in Guangzhou have been tasked to take immediate action to safeguard the legitimate rights of Africans”.

The issue drew the attention of the African Union chaired Moussa Faki who asked the Chinese Ambassador to AU AU Liu Yuxi to act on the matter.

The Spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Affairs ministry said authorities in cities where xenophobia has been reported are working on “improving their working method”.

Health services, designated accommodation facilities for foreigners undergoing mandatory medical observation and effective communication with respective consulates in Guangzhou are among measures put in place to fight discrimination in this Asian country.

“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.”

He added that “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.”

 “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,” the Chinese government committed.