State Department: U.S. Addressed ‘Abhorrent’ Coronavirus Racism with China

In this photo taken on March 1, 2018, people walk in the "Little Africa" district in Guangzhou, the capital of southern China's Guangdong province. - The commercial hub has long been a magnet for fortune-seeking Africans, but traders and students say they face unfavourable visa rules and increasingly heavy policing. …
FRED DUFOUR/AFP via Getty Images

U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration has raised reports of coronavirus-linked racism against black people in China with officials from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), a spokesperson from the State Department recently told Breitbart News.

“We find any discrimination abhorrent. The department takes this issue extremely seriously and has raised it with PRC [People’s Republic of China] officials,” a State spokesperson declared in an email statement sent over the weekend. “U.S. citizens who believe they have been the victim of discriminatory treatment should reach out to their nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for assistance.”

News reports have described southern China’s largest city of Guangzhou as the epicenter of discrimination incidents in the communist country against people of African origin accused of carrying the novel coronavirus.

Local government officials in Guangzhou have begun arbitrary coronavirus testing of black people and ordered restaurants and other service businesses not to serve black people, several news outlets and the U.S. State Department have reported, citing locals.

Even after testing negative for the Chinese coronavirus, some locals of African descent say China is forcing them into what amounts to house arrest, stressing that the Chinese of Guangzhou are not facing similar treatment.

“Local officials [in Guangzhou] launched a round of mandatory tests for COVID-19 [Chinese coronavirus], followed by mandatory self-quarantine, for anyone with ‘African contacts,’ regardless of recent travel history or previous quarantine completion,” the U.S. Consulate General Guangzhou cautioned in a health alert to U.S. citizens issued on April 13.

The alert, which warned of discrimination against African-Americans in Guangzhou, added:

African-Americans have also reported that some businesses and hotels refuse to do business with them. The U.S. Consulate General advises African-Americans or those who believe Chinese officials may suspect them of having contact with nationals of African countries to avoid the Guangzhou metropolitan area until further notice. Without advance warning, officials might require such individuals to submit to a COVID-19 test and undergo 14 days of supervised quarantine at their own expense.

All U.S. citizens in China are subject to local law. If you violate Chinese laws, even unknowingly, you may be arrested, expelled, or imprisoned. … The [Chinese] judiciary [system] does not enjoy independence from political influence. U.S. citizens traveling or residing in China may be subject to heightened scrutiny by Chinese local law enforcement and state security. They should carry identity documents at all times.

Although Breitbart News has been unable to confirm such cases independently, some identifying as Mexican-Americans in China have also complained of coronavirus racism at the hands of Chinese officials.

African leaders have complained about rampant racial discrimination against their compatriots living in China, prompting Beijing to dismiss their complaints as a few “isolated incidents” and “misunderstandings.”

Beijing maintains substantial economic and political clout over many African countries through its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

The U.S. has accused China of using BRI as a vehicle for predatory lending practices to bury nations across the continent in debt and undermine their sovereignty.

As of Friday afternoon, the Trump administration had arranged the repatriation of over 730 Americans stranded in China amid the coronavirus pandemic, primarily U.S. citizens trapped in the communist country’s Wuhan region, the birthplace of the virus, Breitbart News learned.

“Though reduced, commercial flights from China to the United States continue to be available, and the Department’s China Travel Advisory advises Americans to depart by commercial means,” the State spokesperson said.

As part of an unprecedented repatriation effort, the State Department, as of Friday, had helped 64,178 stranded Americans return home on over 600 flights from 110 countries since January 29.

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