Guangzhou — China has refuted reports it is racially abusing African nationals in the Asian country during efforts to eliminate the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
There have been reports in recent days that Africans had become targets of suspicion and subjected to forced evictions, arbitrary quarantines and mass coronavirus testing as China intensifies its fight against imported infections.
Zhao Lijian, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, refuted the reports of the incidents that were said to be rife in the city of Guangdong.
He said during China's fight against the coronavirus, the government had been attaching great importance to the life and health of foreign nationals in the Asian nation.
"All foreigners are treated equally," Lijian stated.
"We reject differential treatment, and we have zero tolerance for discrimination."
Lijian assured that since the outbreak, the authorities in Guangdong attached high importance to the treatment of foreign patients, including African nationals.
"Specific plans and proper arrangements are made to protect their life and health to the best of our ability, thanks to which we were able to save the lives of some African patients in severe or critical conditions."
Lijian's response followed concern raised by some African governments, among them South Africa, which urged China to investigate reports of the alleged ill-treatment of African nationals.
Lijian assured that relations between African and Chinese people would always be cordial.
"The Chinese people always see in the African people partners and brothers through thick and thin."
China and Africa are experiencing mixed fortunes against COVID-19.
China has managed to lower infections since the virus was first reported in the country at the end of December.
Infections are rising in Africa.
"As the situation is getting more severe in Africa, the Chinese government and people have urgently delivered batches of supplies to the continent (Africa)," Lijian noted.