The ANC has called on the Communist Party of China to act swiftly on the alleged ill-treatment of African nationals in China. It has been reported that African nationals are allegedly being forced to undergo testing, and quarantine for Covid-19 even if they have not travelled outside their areas, come into contact with infected persons, or are showing any symptoms of Covid-19.
“The ANC calls on the Communist Party of China and its government to act expeditiously in launching an investigation into these alleged actions and take appropriate remedial measures, especially in Guangdong Province,” an ANC statement has said.
The ANC has historically considered the Communist Party of China as a friend and strategic political and economic partner, particularly since China does not have a colonial history with Africa. The Africa-China relationship is characterised by mutual and collaborative efforts to advance real economic growth, industrial transformation and human development.
Both China and Africa continue to tackle socio-economic ills in their respective societies, and collectively recognise that economic development is a necessary condition for the continent to achieve prosperity
The ANC has further noted “the prompt intervention of the African Union Commission Chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat, and the ongoing engagement between the African Group of Ambassadors in Beijing and Chinese authorities towards ensuring that Africans are treated with respect and dignity like all other nationals in China.”
The Government of the Peoples’ Republic of China has insisted that it does not discriminate against African nationals. “The Chinese Government’s position is firm, clear and consistent that all foreign nationals in China are treated equally. China rejects any differential treatment to them, and has zero tolerance for discrimination in any form,” the Chinese embassy in South Africa has said.
The embassy has further noted that the Guangdong authorities attach great importance to the concerns of some African countries, and are working to ensure they provide health management services without differentiation, and to designate hotels for the accommodation of foreigners required to undergo medical observation at reduced prices or free of charge.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry has undertaken to stay in close communication with the Guangdong authorities and respond to the reasonable concerns and appeals emanating from African countries.
By Shannon Ebrahim, Group Foreign Editor