Blog #11: Anti-African Racism In China in the Age of COVID-19


In the light of the global pandemic caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, the online universe has been engulfed in positive messages, heartwarming commercials and social media outpouring about reaching out and staying connected to humanity and celebrating essential workers, trying to spread good cheer and positivity during these difficult times.

Not so in China. In fact, quite the opposite. African residents in south China, particularly in the city of Ghangzhou, have been discriminated against, evicted and barred and denied access to public transportation, bars, grocery stores, and restaurants, including a McDonald’s restaurant. The Chinese authorities are complicit in the abuse. The US Consulate in Guangzhou issued a warning to expat African Americans to stay away from the city.

The great irony is that for the past few decades, China has been clawing its way into a stronghold on the African continent, largely by financing massive infrastructure projects, while holding on to healthy contingencies, secured by lobbying politicians and who are happy to mortgage their nation’s futures, in exchange for kickbacks. This is problematic enough.

However, China’s latest actions is anything but endearing to the African community and is actually galvanizing the African diaspora online to join together to condemn the attacks on Africans in China. It has lit a spark in the community! Talk about a pan-African movement.

With world leaders decrying China’s efforts to conceal initial information about COVID-19 outbreak, maybe it’s time for Africans call for Chinese accountability as well. Perhaps, the world at large, at consider what it would look like to break up with China.

Would you break up with China? What would that look like for you or me? I’m not sure, but I’m willing to consider it.



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