Diaspora News: Government responds to mistreatment of Kenyans in China

April 10, 2020
By
Collins Ogutu
for Chams Media Digital

The Kenya Government through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has responded to reported mistreatment of Kenyans living in China. This is after a video emerged on social and mainstream media on Thursday showing foreigners of African descent, including Kenyans, being evicted from hotels and Chinese apartments over claims of importing the deadly coronavirus.

The Ministry says in a statement that it has noted the concerns that arose from the situation and treatment of the Kenyan nationals in China and that the Kenyan Embassy in Beijing is closely monitoring the situation and will respond to all the challenges.

"The Ministry's attention has been drawn to information concerning the situation of some Kenyan nationals in China specifically with regard to a recent decision by the Government of China to undertake stringent testing of foreigners and Chinese nationals alike, to forestall imported and asymptomatic cases of COVID-19 in Guangzhou and other areas of China," reads the statement, in part.

Adding that "Unfortunately, these measures have in some instances precipitated unfair responses against foreigners particularly of African origin, from some members of the local community in Guangzhou, especially landlords. The Ministry through its Embassy in Beijing is seized of this matter and has officially expressed concern about these developments and is working with the Chinese authorities to tackle the matter expeditiously."

The video caused an uproar on social media, with Kenyans expressing their anger at the mistreatment of their fellow Kenyans in China, and called for swift government action.

Here is the statement in full.

MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS

PRESS RELEASE ON THE SITUATION AND TREATMENT OF KENYANS IN CHINA 

The Ministry's attention has been drawn to information concerning the situation of some Kenyan nationals in China specifically with regard to a recent decision by the Government of China to undertake stringent testing of foreigners and Chinese nationals alike, to forestall imported and asymptomatic cases of COVID-19 in Guangzhou and other areas of China.

Unfortunately, these measures have in some instances precipitated unfair responses against foreigners particularly of African origin, from some members of the local community in Guangzhou, especially landlords.

The Ministry through its Embassy in Beijing is seized of this matter and has officially expressed concern about these developments and is working with the Chinese authorities to tackle the matter expeditiously.

The Ministry has received assurances from the Chinese Embassy in Nairobi that the Government of China takes a serious view of the situation and that the local authorities in wGuangzhou have been tasked to take immediate action to safeguard the legitimate rights of the Africans concerned.

In view of this commitment and cooperation, we expect an early and comprehensive resolution of this matter to the benefit of Kenyan nationals in China. Our Embassy in Beijing remains available to attend to any challenges that may arise and to do so in liaison with the Chinese authorities. All Kenyans in China are therefore encouraged to remain in touch with the Embassy either directly or through their Kenyan community leaders.

MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS

NAIROBI

10TH APRIL, 2020

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