Africans in China have experienced some of their worst days in the Asian nation this past weeks following a rapid increase in xenophobic attacks.
From racist social media posts to prohibiting Africans from entering markets and public places, the attacks seem to be on the rise as China’s number of coronavirus cases drop.
The Chinese media, has not remained indifferent to the trend. A comic strip shows foreigners being thrown into dustbins by trash carriers, suggesting that it was part of the fight against COVID-19.
In addition to being sent away from hotels, videos and images also depict Africans being discriminated against on trains and buses.
Talking to MMI, a victim, an African student in China says even the academic milieu is not void of the racism and discrimination. “The black skin has no place here… the level of racism here in China is alarming” he cries out.
“In our University, there are about a 180 international students but the authorities decided only Africans will take the (COVID-19) test while other nationalities with white skin are exempted” he explains.
When the coronavirus that started in Wuhan began to spread widely, China said some of its citizens abroad were targets of racist attacks due to the virus. It went ahead to condemn the stigma, but has remained silent on similar actions now carried out by its own citizens.
Despite the challenges they are going through, some Africans in China say their governments through the embassies in China have remained silent about the treatment given them.
Some Africans abroad and back home on their part have taken to social media to call for retaliatory action against Chinese in Africa as well as boycott of Chinese products and services. This they say will force the Chinese government to curb the attacks on Africans.
China should be recalled as Africa’s biggest trading partner. In 2018, the Chinese government announced it was going to be sending the sum of $60 Billion in financial support to the continent.