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NEWSLETTER ON THE ALLEGATIONS OF MISTREATMENT OF AFRICANS LIVING IN CHINA
2020/04/16

THURSDAY, APRIL 16, 2020, PORT OF SPAIN, TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO - As the world continues to take firm measures to contain the COVID-19, some video clips alleging mistreatment of Africans living in China have raised concerns in the continent and among African-descent peoples. The Chinese government shares these concerns.

After verification, China's African friends have pointed out that many of the videos circulating online have been edited and do not tell the whole story. China and Africa, along with Trinidad and Tobago's own African diaspora, should be vigilant against online contents that may skew people's perceptions and sentiments.

China and Africa are good friends, partners and brothers. The friendship between the two sides is forged on the basis of joint efforts to seek national independence, liberation, economic development and better livelihood in the past decades. The people of Trinidad and Tobago can also appreciate this outreach through their own interactions with China and the Chinese people. China does not and will not adopt differentiated policies towards any groups. There has been no discrimination directed against Africans as a group in China. Rather, facing grave risks of importing cases in Guangdong, China has strengthened its prevention and control measures and adhered to the principle of treating Chinese nationals and foreigners as equals. Those regulations are not increased or reduced in the case of foreign citizens in China. Since the outbreak, the authorities in Guangdong attach high importance to the treatment of foreign patients, including African nationals. Specific plans and proper arrangements are made to protect their life and health to the best of our ability, thanks to which the lives of some African patients in severe or critical conditions have been saved.

Within the past few days, China and Africa have held close consultations about the situation of African nationals in Guangdong province. State Councillor Wang Yi spoke via telephone with Chairman Faki of the African Union Commission, while Assistant Foreign Minister Chen Xiaodong has met with African diplomatic envoys to China. Additionally, the Chinese embassies in Africa have also been in active communication with the African representatives. The African officials have expressed their understanding that China takes Africa's concerns seriously and have noted the continuous improvement of the situation involving Africans in relevant cities in Guangdong. Nigeria's Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama noted this Tuesday that China's containment measures had been misinterpreted to "appear as if it was only targeting Nigerians and Africans although this was not the case."

The Guangdong authorities attach great importance to some African countries' concerns and are working promptly to improve their working method. The Chinese people always see in the African people partners and brothers through thick and thin. African friends can count on getting fair, just, cordial and friendly reception in China. The Chinese Foreign Ministry will stay in close communication with the Guangdong authorities and continue responding to the African side's reasonable concerns and legitimate appeals.

In similar fashion, the Chinese government and people continue to fight the good fight alongside Trinidad and Tobago. As with Africa, China-TT relationship is a close and important one which can never be undermined by mischief or misrepresentation. The people of T&T can rest assured that China will continue, as always, to protect the legitimate rights and interests of all foreign nationals living in China including Trinidad and Tobago citizens. Also, China stands ready to provide whatever assistance that is needed to help Trinidad and Tobago triumph over the present crisis.

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