The treatment of Black people in China has prompted an advisory from the federal government and an apology from McDonald’s.
Black people have been experiencing discrimination in Guangzhou, China, due to worries about a resurgence of the coronavirus pandemic. As Atlanta Black Star previously reported, African nationals and African-Americans have been kicked out their homes, denied service by businesses and had their documents confiscated.
A video posted to social media showed a sign banning Black people from entering a Chinese McDonald’s.
“We’ve been informed that from now on, Black people are not allowed to enter the restaurant,” the sign stated. “For the sake of your health, consciously notify the local police for medical isolation.”
BBC reported McDonald’s China later apologized and said the sign was “not representative of our inclusive values.”
“Immediately upon learning of an unauthorized communication to our guests at a restaurant in Guangzhou, we immediately removed the communication and temporarily closed the restaurant,” the company said in a statement.
On Monday the U.S. Embassy and consulates in China issued an advisory for Black Americans in the southern China port city, which a 2014 government estimate tabbed as having 150,000 residents of African descent.
“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,” the notice stated. “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 State Department also warned Black Americans about the vagueness of Chinese law and how it is enforced.
“The judiciary does not enjoy independence from political influence. U.S. citizens traveling 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,” the release continued.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian denied racism accusations in a statement on Sunday.
“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,” Zhao said.
“All foreigners are treated equally. We reject differential treatment, and we have zero tolerance for discrimination.”