To my fellow African diaspora, a very good day to all of you.
My name is Ambassador Arikana Chihombori-Quao. Over the past couple of days I have received many messages, e-mails, phone calls, and video clippings of the abuse that is being meted on our fellow African diaspora living in China.
I have watched in horror Africans roaming the streets of China with their possessions after being evicted out of their homes simply because they are Africans. I have watched in horror Africans roaming the streets with their suit cases and at times with nothing at all, roaming the streets after being thrown out of their hotel rooms simply because they are Africans. I have watched in horror women carrying babies roaming the streets of China with nowhere to go after being thrown out of their homes simply because there are Africans.
I have heard many stories of Africans who are married to Chinese being separated from their husbands or wives simply because they were Africans. I’ve heard stories of Africans being forced to take Covid-19 tests simply because they are Africans. In many cases these individuals did not meet criteria for testing, nor had they been quarantined for the specified time period as mandated by the under-pandemic laws of China. Not once have I heard of any complaint of any African disobeying the under-pandemic laws of China. Why is it then that Africans are being singled out and mistreated? This situation is not acceptable. It is wrong and it will not be tolerated.
To President Xi I say, while you have enjoyed good relationships with all the African leaders it is precisely because of that, that you should do the right thing. You’re sitting in the big boy’s chair, and we are asking you to make the big boy decisions. We are counting on you to make sure that the Africans that are roaming the streets and have been evicted from their homes be allowed to go back home. We are also asking you to make sure that the Africans who are roaming the streets because they have been thrown out of their hotel rooms be allowed to go back to their hotel rooms.
As we speak President Xi, may I remind you that we have over 10 million Chinese residing in Africa where we have welcomed them with open arms. We have allowed the Chinese to establish themselves, to marry Africans and live happily ever after in our Africa. Why can’t Africans be awarded the same welcome that we have given to millions of your citizens?
What is being done to Africans in China is deplorable and the world cannot stand by and allow it to continue. While we understand that the majority of the Chinese are good people, they are good citizens in China as well as in Africa, however, sadly, among them there are a few bad apples.
A few bad apples that have chosen to give China a bad name. A few bad apples that are making China look bad in the eyes of the Africans. This is a situation that cannot be allowed to continue. President Xi, you are a good man and we would like the relationship between China and African governments to continue unabated. But the behavior that is coming from a few of your citizens will not be tolerated and we are counting on you to do what is right, to do what is just, and to of what is fair.
The Africans are no longer going to tolerate this abuse from the Chinese or anybody else for that matter. The African youth are enraged. We are asking when is enough going to be enough? President Xi, the power is in your hands. We value as Africans, our relationship with China. Please do not allow a few bad apples within your citizens to ruin what is otherwise a wonderful relationship between China and the African countries.
As a united citizens, as a United African citizens in the diaspora, we are asking you President Xi to do what is right, to do what is just, and to do what is fair. The children of Africa are saying, enough is enough. The abuse of Africans at home and abroad, be it in China or on the continent has got to stop.
You may not be aware of some of these abuses, but as a United African citizenry in the diaspora we hope that you will receive our message in the spirit with which it is being delivered to you.
You are a good man, President Xi, we trust you will do the right thing.
Arikana Chihombori-Quao, the former African Union ambassador to the United States is President of the African Diaspora Development Institute.