A Hong Kong based newspaper; the South China Morning Post has reported that the Chinese government has secretly implemented plans to prevent restaurants and bars in Beijing from serving Africans during the Olympics. The newspaper report which has been denied by the Beijing police claimed the carte blanc order was introduced by the Chinese authorities to clamp down on drug dealing in the city which the Chinese claim is controlled by African gangs.
There is a significant black population in Beijing made up mainly of students, businessmen and diplomatic staff and tensions have been known to flare up between the community and the authorities. Most recently the son of the Grenada’s ambassador to China was viciously beaten by Chinese police during a raid in the Sanlitun district of Beijing in which scores of black people were arrested.
The Chinese authorities will be unsettled by the report given the massive drive by China to build economic relations with Africa as signified by last year’s China-Africa summit. Prominent amongst the decorations for the summit were Africans clad in leopard skin showing how much China still needs to learn in terms of racial relations.