Anger in Africa over coronavirus 'stigma' in China

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Although the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) insists the many reported incidents of blatant racism against Africans living in China during the coronavirus pandemic are merely "misunderstandings", McDonald's Corporation announced on Monday that it has temporarily closed a restaurant in Guangzhou that explicitly refused to serve black customers and posted a sign declaring they were not "allowed to enter".

Beijing has rejected allegations that it had enacted prejudiced anti-coronavirus policies against Africans in China, describing the accusations as a ploy by Washington to undermine its standing on the world stage.

And while Beijing has denied discrimination, Africans in China say they have become targets of suspicion and subjected to forced evictions, arbitrary quarantines and mass coronavirus testing.

As of Monday, Guangzhou City had reported 119 imported cases, including nine Nigerians and 10 from other African countries, Zhou noted.

"An African restaurant, a Nigerian restaurant frequented predominantly and nearly exclusively by Africans and Nigerians and that the Chinese authorities obviously picked up on this that there was this group of people who had tested positive".

Onyeama further said that having seen the video and received various calls from China, he alerted the Nigerian Embassy and officials in Guangzhou at the consulate, particularly the acting consul-general.

In a statement sent to Shanghaiist, the company apologized for the incident, said that it had ordered the restaurant to "stop immediately such actions", and explained that it had closed the location for half the day on Sunday to conduct training programs on "Diversity and Inclusion".

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Agarwal also said that the Core Strategy Group on COVID-19 was working on rapid and economical diagnostics as well as new drugs. According to BMC, after this the number of infected people in this slum area has increased to 55 and 7 have died.

The US fast-food chain McDonald's has apologised over a sign in one of its restaurants in Guangzhou telling black people they were banned from entering.

"We do not have discrimination in China against African brothers", foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian told a daily news briefing, accusing the United States of trying to exploit the issue to harm Beijing's relations with African nations.

Recently, hundreds of Africans in Guangzhou were evicted from hotels and apartments after online rumours.

Nigerian Minister of Foreign Affairs Geoffrey Onyeama.

Africans that were living in Guangzhou have been turned away from hotels and evicted from their homes due to these anti-foreigner sentiments, even though numerous residents claiming that they haven't travelled recently nor have had any contact with COVID-19 patients. "Its attempt to drive a wedge between China and Africa will never succeed", he added.

He added that Guangzhou was only fighting COVID-19 and not any Nigerian, African, foreign nationals or even Chinese.

"There have been flare-ups over race going back to the 1980s and also Guangzhou, in particular, has always been a hard setting for African migrants in particular", Ryder says.

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