The Chinese Embassy in Nigeria has told Nigerians that it is in touch with the home country over skirmishes and misunderstanding between some Nigerians resident in Guuangzhou, south east China and local authorities
The embassy, through the press and public awareness department informed ACMC in a phone discussion and chats that “we are aware of the situation and have been fully in touch with the Chinese Foreign Ministry in Beijing. We also keep in touch with the foreign affairs department of the Guangdong Province.
“Even the home government is aware of it through feedbacks in the media and official communication modes between Beijing and Guangzhou local authorities.
The embassy said so far, there is no clear discrimination of government enforcement policy targeted at Nigerians or any other nationals.
On why Nigerians are particularly the issue, the Chinese media had reported that there are nine Nigerians among 25 nationals that have tested positive to COVID-19 in the city recently. Altogether, there are 111 imported covid-19 cases in the city
One of the reports explained that a particular Nigerian covid-19 patient among the nine had personal issues with a medical officer which allegedly resulted in physical assault on a Chinese lady medical worker.
The Nigerian patient identified as Okonkwo Nwoye Chika Patrick while undergoing treatment on April 1, 2020 allegedly bit a nurse, Ms. Wang as he allegedly attempted to escape from the hospital and isolation. As a result of this incident, the 47-year-old patient was detained in line with the assault the reports said also involved beating up the nurse in his bid to escape from the isolation hospital.
From our findings, this most likely inflamed passions from the two sides, but the Embassy assured that it monitors to ensure that the personal matter which is being handled by the authorities doesn’t escalate to a big issue that would send the impression that China targets Nigerians for victimization.
The media and public awareness office also promised to feed Nigerians back with more details as the matter unfolds, but with assurance that there is no cause for alarm over it and with a promise to Nigerians that the interest of Nigerian citizens in China is protected as the government would not watch while some nationals are singled out for maltreatment and discrimination.
Back in China, in reaction to the situation, the Foreign Ministry spokesman, Zhao Lijian had said that: “Since the COVID-19 outbreak, China and African countries have been supporting each other in fighting the pandemic. We won’t forget the support voiced and provided by African countries and their people when we were at the most crucial stage of the fight. Now we are closely following the situation in Africa. The Chinese government and people are doing our best to help them. Faced with the severe test of epidemics, China and African countries are united more than ever, demonstrating brotherhood in times of adversity.
We noted reports on some media say there has recently been discrimination against Africans in Guangdong. I’d like to stress that we treat all foreign nationals equally in China. We reject differential treatment, and we have zero tolerance for discrimination.
Countries all over the world are taking measures to contain the pandemic. In China, our most urgent task is to prevent imported cases and domestic resurgence. To meet this goal, we need understanding, support and cooperation from both Chinese and foreign nationals in China. In the meantime, we pay high attention to the occasional incidents and misunderstandings in this process. We urge relevant authorities to improve working methods, and hope all foreigners in China will strictly observe local anti-epidemic regulations, and cooperate with and support us in fighting the virus. Together we will achieve the final victory.
In Guangzhou, China, 111 imported infections have been reported so far. Among them, 25 are foreign nationals, with nine from Nigeria, three from Angola, two from Democratic Republic of the Congo and two from Niger. One each from France, Brazil, UK, Australia, Ethiopia, Syria, Burkina Faso, Madagascar and Russia has also been reported.
According to a press conference on Tuesday (April 7) in Guangzhou, five Nigerians living in Kuangquan Street, Yuexiu district of Guangzhou were confirmed positive while in quarantine. (Source: www.africachinapresscenter.com)