China has managed to profit from Africa as it has systematically trapped the poor African countries in its infamous debt-trap diplomacy. China has always considered the African countries as its potential colonies and treated its citizens as expendables. Recently, attacks against the African communities have picked up in China, especially in Guangzhou and to China’s surprise the African countries have teamed up and are fearlessly taking on the dragon as the USA and the European Union meekly watch from a safe distance.
The situation in China is not at all conducive for the African community as racist attacks have picked up in the country so much so that the United States Consulate in Guangzhou recently advised African-Americans to stop travelling to the city in the backdrop of the Chinese Communist Party targeting people of African origin under the pretext of cracking down on the Wuhan coronavirus.
In Guangzhou’s Yuexiu district which is also known as “Little Africa”, Africans and people suspected to be in contact with ‘African contacts’ are compelled to take tests followed by a mandatory quarantine at their own expense. It is reported that black people are forcefully evicted from hotels and flats and denied service in restaurants in Guangzhou.
The attacks on the African community have sparked an angry reaction from the African diplomats who have raised the issue with Chinese officials. The diplomats have reminded the Chinese officials of their unflinching support during the peak of the virus in China as they heeded the instructions of the Chinese government’s call against evacuation and now the same people who reposed faith in the CCP and state back are being targeted.
A video of Consul General of Nigeria berating the Chinese officials has gone viral as he confronts Chinese officials over harassment of Nigerian nationals in China by the Chinese police. Shockingly, the Chinese officials laughs off the concerns of the Consul General since it’s a regular occurrence in China.
Brilliant. Consul General of Nigeria in China confronts Chinese officials over harassment of Nigerian nationals in China by the Chinese police amidst #COVID19 pandemic. The Chinese Official laughs it off since it’s a usual practice in China. Bizarre. pic.twitter.com/J9Ky470KNP
— Aditya Raj Kaul (@AdityaRajKaul) April 12, 2020
In another instance, the Nigerian Speaker has tweeted a video of him summoning the Chinese ambassador and slamming him for the treatment meted out to Africans in China. “It’s almost undiplomatic the way I’m talking, but it’s because I’m upset about what’s going on,” the Nigerian Speaker can be heard saying in the video. Nigerian Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama also stated that he had summoned the Chinese Ambassador and expressed “extreme concern” over the situation.
In Kenya, anti-China sentiments are rising as Member of Parliament, Moses Kuria has called for all Chinese nationals residing in Kenya to be evicted as a retaliation to African nationals being evicted from their homes in China.
“It is only fair that all Chinese nationals leave the country with immediate effect. How do you blame Africans for a virus you manufactured in a Wuhan laboratory? Go back home,” said Kuria.
Another Member of Parliament, Charles Njagua joined forces with Kuria to attack the Chinese government. “I’ll not hesitate to ask Kenyans to follow the Bible, it says an eye for an eye,” said Njagua in a Facebook post. Recently, the hashtag ‘China must explain’ was also trending on Kenyan Twitter.
Even the tiny nation of Guinea is standing up to China as according to reports from Africa, Guinea has arrested Chinese nationals and demanded safe return of its citizens from China. A video trending from the Republic of Guinea shows the moment Guinea Government arresting all Chinese Nationals in the country till China returns its citizens safely.
Sharing the video, a social media user said, “GUINEA GOVERNMENT TOOK A DECISIVE MEASURE,SEIZED ALL CHINESE NATIONAL TILL ALL HER CITIZENS RETURN SAFELY.”
Meanwhile, the Chinese State media has been denying the reports of brutalities that are being committed on the people of African origin in the country. Its denials and assurances however do not hold any significance given its largely discredited State Media and the rising anti-China sentiment in the African Continent.
What further corroborated the reports of brutalities being committed in China, is the fact that McDonalds apologised after a signboard surfaced that barred Africans from entering its restaurants in China.
The racial profiling and targeting of Africans in China is racism of the worst kind, and can be described as peculiar to this part of the world in today’s time.
The fact that a small country situated on the West African Coast took such a drastic measure shows how China’s credibility and global stature has taken a huge hit.
Meanwhile, China has dismissed reports of its citizens getting arrested in Guinea and called them rumours. The Chinese embassy in Guinea issued a statement on the matter that said, “The Chinese diplomatic mission, as always, will make every effort to safeguard the safety and legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens in Guinea.”
Africa cannot be kept under a lockdown for long as the continent needs to work to make ends meet. The International Monetary Fund has recognised Africa’s situation has approved debt relief for most of the African countries and are urging others to do the same. Naturally, African countries are asking for debt relief from China which is unlikely.
The pandemic has completely obliterated any positive sentiment that China had able to garner in the African continent. The discussion in Africa is no longer about China’s loans and donations to them but instead they are seeking to address the elephant in the room and wondering whether China will write off African debts ?
Even before the Wuhan coronavirus, African countries have been realizing the folly of Chinese debt trap diplomacy. As per a report by Reuters, the businessmen from Kenya are protesting against Chinese colonization of the country. The newly built Chinese railway line, from the port city of Mombasa to the capital, Nairobi, which cost 3.3 billion dollars, has shot up the cost of transportation by 50 per cent. China built the railway line under its ambitious Belt and Road Initiative.
Earlier, the businessmen were used to transport goods to port city by trucks, the Kenyan government signed a contract with China that if the country builds a railway line from Mombasa to Nairobi, the businessmen will use the Chinese railway line for the transportation of goods.
The Chinese engineers and workers, involved in the railway projects, are racially discriminating against the local people. In 2019, a video of a Chinese executive who called the people of Kenya and their President Monkey, has gone viral over the internet. The local people are allowed to drive the railway only when foreign journalists are present; otherwise, all the operations are carried out by Chinese people.
Recently, Tanzanian President cancelled $10 billion Chinese loan as he claimed that the conditions of the loan can only be accepted by a “drunkard” person. In 2018, Sierra Leone also suspended a $400 million airport construction agreement with China.
It is heartening to see African countries fearlessly rising up against China and taking punitive actions against China as they seek to safeguard their interests and citizens. It seems that the US and Europe needs to learn from Africa on how to take on China.