Apr 29, 2020, 1:52 PM | Article By: DM Badjie

Of all the foreign nationals living in China, it is the Africans who have become victims of COVID-19 racial attacks.

The complaints of Africans in China well before the emergence of COVID-19, of harassment by Chinese people have come to full blown light in the attacks of Africans in the midst of the pandemic. There is no country in the world that went after black Africans in the fight against COVID-19 except China. It is a shame that a security council of the UN member like China cannot still live up to the norms of the civilized world in ending racism. It is also a shame on China’s public diplomacy.

The mistreatment of Africans living in China must come to an end. I hope I am wrong that China is incapable of adjusting to racial respect for African people.  Interestingly, the Africans who are looked upon as inferior race, are peacefully and respectfully accommodating in the continent the Chinese and all other races in the world. This is because the African by nature is humane and relates to people in a humanly manner. In Allah we trust.

There has not been any reported cases whereby African nationals in China violated the anti-pandemic laws and regulations of the government. This is therefore a case of blatant racism towards Africans in China. It should be condemned in the strongest terms by The Gambia and the whole of Africa.

In an interdependent and interconnected world, racism cannot prevail over cooperation and friendship. China knows this and cannot therefore possibly manipulate Africa to remain silent on the mistreatments of our people in China.  China should make real efforts to become a tolerant and accommodating society. Otherwise, China will soon see shifting of alliances on the part of many African countries.

In my experience, the Chinese leadership is very much interested in building stronger ties with Africa. The problem, however, is the cultural mentality of their people. Their perceptions of African people are culturally unfriendly. This puts the Chinese leadership in a tight corner in terms of upholding the rights of African people to peaceful coexistence in Chinese society. In order to keep the relations with Africa intact, the Chinese government must come up with a cultural reconstruction policy that would change the mind-sets of Chinese people towards African people. It is not enough for the government of China to dissociate itself from the recent attacks on Africans in the country in the midst of the Coronavirus crisis which never emanated from the African continent in the first instance. The government of China must end occurrences of racial discrimination and intimidation of Africans living in their country period. If they (the Chinese) make peaceful coexistence between Africans and the Chinese impossible, they will make a major clash with Africa inevitable. This will be hard to believe under the dynamic and visionary leadership of H.E. Xi Jun Ping.

No one can deny the fact that China’s growing economic power has positive effects on African countries. For many Africans the benefits are all too real. I have personally always seen China as the greatest development partner of Africa. I support fully the One China Policy. My inclination therefore, is a stronger and stronger united Sino-Africa friendship and cooperation and not a crying African partner over the mistreatment of our people in China. It is for these reasons that I restrained my network not to start a continent-wide campaign for a boycott of Chinese goods and businesses in Africa.