China has denied claims hundreds of African residents and businessmen were being evicted from hotels and apartments from its cities for allegedly contracting the deadly novel coronavirus.
The Africans say they are just being targeted under the guise of a testing campaign for the global pandemic also known as COVID-19. Some of them alleged that they have been placed under forced quarantine without being told about the results of their tests.
The Africans, who are based in China’s southern city of Guangzhou, have described the development as discriminatory. “They are accusing us of having the virus,” a Nigerian student, Tobenna Victor, was quoted by the BBC.
But in a statement, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian, denied the claims, saying: “We do not have discrimination in China against African brothers.”
“China and Africa are good friends, partners, and brothers. Our friendship is forged on the basis of joint efforts to seek national independence, liberation, economic development and better livelihood in the past decades.
“Such time-tested friendship is a treasure for both Chinese and African people. Humanity shines through the darkness of the epidemic. After the Ebola epidemics broke out in three West African countries in 2014, the Chinese government provided assistance at the earliest time possible and fought side by side with the African countries and people.
“Now faced with the COVID-19 pandemic, China and Africa are again tiding over difficulties hand in hand, and our friendship is again elevated.
“We will not forget the support from Africa during our most difficult times. While overcoming difficulties at home, we also give love and care to all African citizens in China, especially African students,” Lijian stressed.
Accusing the United States of contracting Africans in China to make up the xenophobic claims, Lijian said China-Africa friendship “is unbreakable as it is deeply rooted in this land.”
He assured that the Guangdong authorities attach great importance to some African countries’ concerns and are working promptly to improve their working method.
Africa has recorded 14,524 COVID-19 cases out of which 2,570 have recovered with 788 deaths as of April 13, 2020, according to Africa CDC.