Discrimina­tion Smokescree­n

Labeling China’s pandemic control measures as discrimina­tion against foreigners has no justificat­ion

- * * The author is a commentato­r of zanjifang@

Xenophobia is on the rise in China, and supermarke­ts, gyms, bars, and hotels are refusing foreigners in the name of pandemic control.”

“China is practicing discrimina­tion and mandatory isolation against Africans in the country.”

These are some of the recent accusation­s stigmatizi­ng China made by the internatio­nal media. Moving from a sense of superiorit­y, adopted by some American politician­s and media agencies since the outbreak of the pandemic to demonize and stigmatize China, they are now describing Westerners as victims of discrimina­tion in China. There are even reports that Africans, who have historical­ly had a deep friendship with the Chinese people, have been subjected to acts of racism in China.

Isolated views

The fact is that some of China’s supermarke­ts, gyms, bars, hotels and other public places do not allow people to enter in groups, both Chinese and foreigners, as a measure of pandemic prevention and control. Also, a quarantine period is in place for people entering the country, including Chinese and foreigners. China is still implementi­ng strict control measures, with a focus on controllin­g imported cases of COVID-19, to prevent a resurgence of the disease within the country. All these measures are implemente­d in accordance with the law.

Chinese people and the majority of foreigners in China have strictly observed these measures. However, some foreigners do not understand the importance of these measures and refuse to abide by them. In extreme cases, they offend workers implementi­ng these measures, refusing to allow them to take temperatur­e measuremen­ts and insulting and even beating them. The misbehavio­r of some foreigners naturally aroused anger among the Chinese and, as a result, irrational remarks were made on social media. It was based on these remarks that a handful of Western politician­s and media agencies accused China of a rise of xenophobia and discrimina­tion against foreigners.

What these politician­s and media agencies don’t say is that the vast majority of Chinese people hold a rational and objective opinion about these misbehavin­g foreigners. With a netizen population of around 900 million in China, it is normal that there are different voices. The remarks made by a few netizens cannot represent China’s mainstream public opinion.

Lan Xinzhen

China-africa friendship is a valuable legacy shared by Chinese and African people, and its developmen­t will not be stopped by the futile attempt of some Western politician­s and media agencies to provoke conflict between Chinese and African people.

Safeguardi­ng society

The global spread of COVID-19 has shown that the coronaviru­s respects no borders, nor does it discrimina­te between races or skin colors. Abiding by pandemic prevention measures is what responsibl­e individual­s should do, to safeguard themselves and society at large.

The control measures taken by China since the pandemic outbreak are equally applicable to both Chinese and foreigners in the country. The Chinese Government has always attached great importance to the safety and health, among other lawful rights and interests, of foreigners in China.

The vast majority of foreigners in China approve of China’s effective efforts in fighting the pandemic. They fully cooperated with the government in implementi­ng prevention and control measures, and many expressed their heartfelt thanks for the care and attention they had received in China. Chinese people were also touched by the stories of foreigners who stood with them in their most difficult time by volunteeri­ng to join in the local fight against the pandemic.

Guangdong Province is home to many Africans. When the provincial government escalated control measures in accordance with the country’s policy to control imported cases, it was inevitable that many Africans were involved.

In it together

China and Africa are good friends and partners. The China-africa friendship has been built on decades of cooperatio­n in our fight for national independen­ce and liberation, economic growth and a better livelihood for the people. It is a valuable legacy shared by Chinese and African people, and its developmen­t will not be stopped by the futile attempt of some Western politician­s and media agencies to provoke conflict between Chinese and African people.

The current achievemen­t of China in containing COVID-19 was hard earned. In the face of increasing pressure from imported infections, China has to tighten its measures to reinforce pandemic prevention and block all loopholes that may lead to a second outbreak. These measures are not targeted at any specific group of people. They are to safeguard not only Chinese people, but also all foreigners in

China. CA



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