The Network Journal Communications Inc. (TNJ, www.tnj.com), the premier Black-owned and operated information company in the U.S. targeting Black professionals and business owners, launched the campaign, #BoycottChineseProducts, to urge an end to abuses of Black people residing in China and by Chinese investors operating in Africa.
“This mistreatment of Black people has got to stop. The Chinese go into Africa with inferior products and inferior services and saddle us with giant loans they know we likely cannot repay, and we hand over to them our superior natural resources and precious land and create jobs for their people. Yet they treat us as subhuman. Why are we allowing this to continue? Have we no pride in ourselves?” asks TNJ CEO Aziz Gueye Adetimirin.
Images of abusive acts against Africans and other people of African descent residing in China have gone viral recently as Chinese authorities blame the ongoing spread of the coronavirus on foreigners. Other heinous acts against Africans by Chinese business owners in African countries have also gone viral. At the same time, incidents of Chinese exploitation of natural resources in rural areas of Africa have also been documented.
In terms of government-to government relationships, African countries collectively owe China more than $145 billion, with about $8 billion in payments due this year. African governments have called on China for some gesture of debt relief as the COVID-19 pandemic threatens fragile economies. To date, however, those calls have fallen on deaf ears in Beijing.
“We are demanding that the Chinese government and Chinese people treat Black people with respect. Yes, they bring infrastructure to our countries and extend development loans without the political strings the West likes to attach to their loans. But when the tally is taken, much of the infrastructure they build is shoddy; they really don’t hire Africans for their projects on the continent even though there is high unemployment, especially among African youth; and they grab our land when we cannot repay their loans. Africa is enriching China and building up their economy, doing more for China than it is doing for us,” says Adetimirin.
TNJ is collaborating with partners in Africa to promote the #BoycottChineseProducts campaign.
“We must hold the feet of African leaders to the fire until they stop allowing others to get away with ill-treating our people, pillaging our continent, and robbing our children and grandchildren of their birthright,” Adetimirin says.