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China’s Subtly Revising the Narrative of the Origin of Its “Miscommunication” With Nigerians and Other Africans in Guangzhou

Confronted with overwhelming criticism in Africa following widespread reports of maltreatment of and discrimination against African residents in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou last month, the Chinese government has been trying (largely unsuccessfully) to reshape the narrative according to their interpretation of the events.

The initial response by the government and its state media outlets was to deny that there was any discrimination at all against Africans. Then, the central government acknowledged that “local authorities” (a catch-all for both Guandong provincial and Guangzhou municipal officials) may have gone a bit too far in enforcing COVID-19 health restrictions and did not properly communicate their efforts with the local African community.

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