Covid China Holds Discussions With African Ambassadors Over Fallout

Certain videos recently circulated online purport to show discrimination towards foreign nationals, particularly Africans, in China in its anti-epidemic measures. However, these are just groundless rumors.

French television France 24 in an article posted on its website debunked some fake videos, reproaching the disinformation that had nothing to do with the pandemic.

In a violent video going viral on Twitter and other social media, a group of people can be seen beating an African man down to the ground, while captions and comments on the video trick the audience into believing that the violence resulted from racial discrimination and COVID-19 rumors circulating in the southern Chinese province of Guangzhou, France 24 said.

However, the video was found filmed in 2016, or even earlier. It was even widely circulated online in 2018 with a caption claiming that the man suffered violence for having a relationship with a Chinese woman in Guangzhou.

Meanwhile, a slightly longer version, which includes footage of the same scene shot from a different angle, was posted in August 2016, whereas the post claims that the video showed shopkeepers in Kuching, one of the most populous Malaysian cities, were hitting a man who had tried to rob their shop, according to France 24.

Such misleading videos and stories are common online, despite the repeated warnings from the World Health Organization (WHO) against “infodemic” — the spread of fake news on the pandemic.

Underlining the specialized agency for global agency is combating two pandemics, WHO spokesperson Fadela Chaib told a virtual press conference Tuesday that “we have the pandemic with the virus, but we are also combating ‘infodemic.'”

The “outbreak and response has been accompanied by a massive ‘infodemic’ … that makes it hard for people to find trustworthy sources and reliable guidance,” the WHO warned in an earlier report.

Attempts to sow discord between the Chinese and African peoples through disinformation have failed, since China, which is also currently combating COVID-19 itself, is winning acclaim from across the African continent for its solidarity and support to African countries and regional organizations amid the COVID-19 threat.

Dawit Yirga, director-general of Asia and Oceania Affairs at the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that Africa and China are “all-weather friends and the Sino-Africa strategic partnership has shown vitality and strength in this time of unprecedented challenges.”

Jean-Claude Gakosso, minister for foreign affairs of the Republic of the Congo, said China has offered a helping hand to African nations and greatly contributed to Africa’s anti-pandemic fight, adding that his country firmly opposes someone’s attempts to hype specific problems in the COVID-19 fight and smear the Africa-China friendship. Enditem

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