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U.S. advises African-Americans in China not to visit Guangzhou over alleged racist attacks

The United States of America has advised African-Americans living in the People’s Republic of China to desist from travelling to Guangzhou over reports of racial discrimination.

In a security alert issued by the Country’s Embassy in China on Monday, April 13, 2020, the US Consulate General said all African Americans who believe they may be suspected of having ‘African contacts’ should not enter Guangzhou until further notice.

According to the embassy, the Guangzhou Police officials have ordered bars and restaurants not to serve clients who appear to be of African origin, for fear they may have the COVID-19 and cause a resurgence in the country’s cases.

China recorded a total of 108 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, up from 99 a day earlier, making the highest number of cases since 143 infections were reported on March 5.

Prior to this, reports from Guangzhou and Beijing by African residents indicated that the Asian country is discriminating against them and treating ‘inhumanely’.

US officials noted, “In response to an increase in COVID-19 infections, officials in the Guangzhou metropolitan area escalated scrutiny of foreign nationals. As part of this campaign, police ordered bars and restaurants not to serve clients who appear to be of African origin.

“Moreover, local officials launched a round of mandatory tests for COVID-19, followed by mandatory self-quarantine, for anyone with “African contacts,” regardless of recent travel history or previous quarantine completion. 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,” the alert indicated.

The Alert, however, advised all US citizens in China to strictly abide by the laws of the country to avoid being arrested, expelled or imprisoned.

“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 legal system can be opaque, and the interpretation and enforcement of local laws may be arbitrary.

“The judiciary does not enjoy independence from political influence. U.S. citizens travelling 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,” it added.

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