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Saturday, September 18, 2021

Are our people in China safe?

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In the past few weeks, media outlets across the continent have reportedthat Africans in China, including Gambians, have been maltreated as racial attacks have been directed at them. It is said that the Chinese citizens have turned their anger at the Africans in that country.

Some of the Chinese people have been releasing invectives directed at Africans who are currently resident in the country. Reports have it that in some instances they have been forcefully evicted from their houses and being compelled to sleep in the streets despite the harsh elements.

Other people who have received their fair (or unfair) of ill-treatment form the Chinese are the businessmen and women who are currently in various hotels in China. They have been sent out of their hotel rooms, sometimes in the middle of the night, even though they had already paid for those rooms.

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Many of these are then subjected to multiple testing for the coronavirus. In some cases, they are forced into mandatory quarantine for the required fourteen days and will still continue to undergo mandatory tests even after repeated tests show that they are free from the virus.

An official of the Government of China is reported to have said that this was an isolated case and should not be generalised. However multiple reports from different cities and provinces seem to indicate that this is deeper than just one or two isolated cases.

Many governments have summoned resident Chinese ambassadors to lodge official complaints about the treatment of their citizens in China.

The Gambia Government have also reportedly raised concerns with the Chinese ambassador to The Gambia who has reportedly promised that his government will do the needful to ensure that Gambians, and all Africans, are safe in China.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has advised Gambians in China to remain calm and report any difficulties to the Gambian embassy in that country.

China is a friend to Africa. Beijing must ensure that the lives, properties and rightsof Africans in the country are respected just like the rights of Europeans, Americans and other Asians are.

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