Politics and Society
Kenya plans to deport Chinese man over racist rant
Due to China’s investments in Kenya, this growing link has an estimated 10 000 Chinese nationals living in the East African country. Unfortunately there have been racially charged incidents involving Chinese people, with the most recent being a derogatory rant by a man whom Kenyan immigration is now deporting on the grounds of racism.
A Chinese man, identified as Liu Jiaqi, is being deported after a video emerged of him making racist comments about Kenyans. Jiaqi was caught on camera making derogatory remarks by a colleague whom he was threatening.
In the three-minute video Jiaqi describes Kenyans as ‘monkeys’ and goes on to say, “I don’t belong to here. I don’t like here, like monkey people, I don’t like talk with them, it smells bad, and poor, and foolish, and black. I don’t like them. Why not [like] the white people, like the American?”
The Chinese Embassy issued a statement condemning the racist slur, saying Jiaqi’s views were personal and did not represent the views of the vast majority of Chinese people.
“The Chinese Embassy always requires the Chinese companies and individuals to abide by the local law, stay and work legally in Kenya, making positive contributions to the friendship and cooperation between China and Kenya,” the consulate said in a statement.
Kenya’s Immigration Department shared a brief statement on Twitter regarding Jiaqi’s status:
LIU JIAQI a Chinese National who was arrested due to his RACISM remarks has been DEPORTED . Via @GKihalangwa cc. @InteriorKE @FredMatiangi #AskImmigrationKE pic.twitter.com/yHJu3azx2i
— Directorate of Immigration Services | Kenya (@ImmigrationDept) September 6, 2018
Many Kenyans have spoken out against the video and its representation of racist attitudes held by some Chinese towards black people.
Ambassador Martin Kimani, the director of Kenya’s National Counter Terrorism Centre and Special Envoy CVE, shared his chagrin in a series of tweets:
Read: Africans deserve to know details of deals their leaders sign with China
Failing race relations
Earlier in 2018, China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC), the Chinese company that operates the standard gauge rail (SGR), was accused of the alleged mistreatment of the local Madaraka Express train crew. In interviews carried out by The Standard newspaper it was revealed that Kenyan employees could not share certain amenities, such as washrooms and canteen seating, with their Chinese counterparts, nor are they getting similar pay. The interviewees also bemoaned the lack of knowledge sharing and training, which was part of the deal with CRBC.
Conservationists also have a bone to pick with the CRBC, whose railway planning and operations showed a blatant disregard for wildlife and has caused several deaths since operations began. A number of animals, including lion and buffalo, have been killed on the tracks and the animals’ remains callously removed using cranes and menial labourers.
On the other hand, with the Kenyan government cracking down on illegal immigrants, some Chinese organisations and individuals have been impacted. Shortly before the release of Jiaqi’s rant video, AFP reported that the China Global Television Network (CGTN) headquarters had been raided and several journalists briefly detained before being released after their papers were verified.