Coronavirus: Why are Africans in China being targeted?

Tuesday April 14, 2020

African people wearing masks walk on the street in Guangzhou [File: Alex Plavevski/EPA-EFE]

They are China‘s key trading partners but some African leaders have been angered by Beijing’s reported discrimination against their citizens.

They want answers from the Chinese government over reports that Africans are targeted because of fears they could spread coronavirus.

A recent rise in COVID-19 infections in China has been linked to foreigners.The Chinese government is worried there could be a second wave and has stepped up its scrutiny of foreigners.

African students and expatriates have reportedly been evicted from their homes, tested for coronavirus several times and are being shunned in public.

The incidents have sparked a diplomatic dispute with the African Union, African governments and the United States.

So, is this a new form of racism? Or is it just Beijing trying to curb the pandemic?

Presenter: Richelle Carey


Victor Gao – Vice president of the Center for China and Globalization

Gabriella Dilan – Medical student from Uganda

Keith Richburg – Director of the University of Hong Kong’s Journalism and Media Studies Centre