REPORTS of the discrimination of African nationals in China during the COVID-19 outbreak has led to a serious diplomatic crisis in Beijing, with African ambassadors at the Asian country writing a joint letter of complaint addressed to China’s foreign relations minister.
The mistreatment sparked anger across African, with Namibia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of International Relations and cooperation, Netumbi Nandi-Ndaitwah, today meeting with the Chinese Ambassador to Namibia, Zhang Yiming, to express her concerns.
It has been reported that African students and expatriates in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou were last week subject to forced coronavirus testing and arbitrary 14-day self-quarantine, regardless of recent travel history, amid heightened fears of imported infections.
Large numbers of African nationals were also left homeless, after being evicted by landlords and rejected by hotels in the city, reports indicate.
“Namibia notes with satisfaction that the issue was discussed in Beijing between the Ambassadors of the African Group and Mr. Chen Xiadong, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs of China. The government of Namibia appreciates the efforts undertaken by the government of China in dealing with the disturbing events in Guangzhou Province,” Nandi-Ndaitwah said in a statement.
She added that Namibia is happy with the assurance from Chinese authorities that it is not the policy of China to discriminate against African nationals.
In her statement, Nandi-Ndaitwah reminded Namibians living abroad to respect and abide by the precautionary measures put in place by their respective host countries to ensure that the virus is contained and lives are saved.
She further called on Namibians affected to remain in contact with the Embassy of Namibia in Beijing directly or through the Namibian Student Association in China.