Diplomatic fallout from mistreatment of Africans in China continues

Foreign Affairs

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SupChina illustration by Derek Zheng

African migrants in Guangzhou have experienced an unsettling level of public scrutiny and have become the target of aggressive measures taken by the local government of Guangzhou to prevent new COVID-19 cases.

While there’s no evidence showing that the African community in Guangzhou bears any additional responsibility for the transmission of the coronavirus in the city, local officials have launched a screening campaign targeting the African diaspora, which has included ruthless evictions and mandatory COVID-19 testing.

China moved to address its shockingly public crisis in relations with African countries after videos and reports of mistreatment of African nationals circulated widely on international social media. But despite some initial success in placating certain African government officials, the problem is not over yet:

“This weekend, African politicians in several countries convened press conferences, took to Twitter and signed joint letters of protest to register their outrage over allegations of poor treatment of African migrants in China,” reports the China Africa Project (paywall).