By Omar Bah
The Gambia Action Party has called on The Gambia government to suspend diplomatic ties with China over Beijing’s handling of African migrants since the outbreak of Covid-19.
“We call on The Gambia government and all AU member states to halt diplomatic ties with China until they stop harassing our brothers and sisters. We urged Barrow to facilitate evacuation of our citizens from China,” GAP secretary general, Musa Yali Batchilly told The Standard yesterday.
He said his party is of the strong conviction that “unless our African leaders unite on Africans’ interests and stop entertaining bribes from the so-called world superpowers like China who only come to loot our natural resources…We will not realise our potentials.”
“We strongly condemn the dehumanisation and discrimination against African migrants in Beijing. We remind the government of the People’s Republic of China their action is a breach of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights,” he said.
Beijing is facing a diplomatic crisis in Africa after reports of alleged coronavirus-related discrimination against Africans in China sparked widespread anger across the continent.
African students and expatriates in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou were last week subjected to forced testing for coronavirus and arbitrary 14-day quarantine, regardless of recent travel history. Large numbers of African nationals were also left homeless, after being evicted by landlords and rejected by hotels in the city.
The GAP leader said: “Confirmed reports emerging from China are evidence of gross human rights violation and abuses. Let them be reminded that millions of Chinese are residing and working in Africa but no African country has ever discriminated against them. So the Chinese government must not push Africa to the limit.”
“We believe that the world is a global village where the whole of mankind should live harmoniously without racial discrimination,” he said.
Meanwhile, in a statement released last Sunday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian denied China had been singling out foreigners.
“We are still facing great risks of imported cases and domestic resurgence. Particularly, as the pandemic spreads all over the world, imported cases are causing mounting pressure,” said Zhao.
“All foreigners are treated equally. We reject differential treatment, and we have zero tolerance for discrimination,” he added.