The Chinese government has released a draft law that could make it easier for foreigners to gain permanent residency in China. The proposal has since stirred up a torrent of xenophobia online targeting mostly Africans.
The proposal, released by the justice ministry last week, has been gathering billions of views and a flood of angry posts on social media, targeting Africans in particular.
The proposed changes are designed to attract a limited number of experts, specialists, and high-income individuals who can contribute significantly to China but Chinese internet users are not in support of this.
There were more than 70,000 comments under the original Ministry of Justice Weibo post, which later got censored because of the backlash. The ministry closed down comments on the post announcing the legislative proposal for granting permanent resident status to foreign nationals.
According to reports from the Beijing News, the topic generated billions of reads on the Chinese social media platform Weibo.
It is also important to note the prevalence of hatred and racism among the voices speaking against China’s plan to attract foreign talents. From questioning the loyalties of individuals from a different race to propagating stereotypes about other ethnic groups, many internet users seem to be opposing the Chinese government’s immigration proposals not because of the potential impacts of the policies, but rather because of racial biases and prejudices.
In 2017, a Chinese legislator attempted to bring up a proposal to conduct stringent and swift measures to eliminate the black communities in China’s Guangdong province.
Pan Qinglin, a member of China’s Political Consultative Conference, claimed that “Africans have a high rate of AIDS and the Ebola virus.” Pan further suggested that China will change from a “yellow country” to a “yellow and black country” if black communities continue to exist in China.
Culled from the diplomat