Three Chinese citizens allegedly murdered in Lukasa, Zambia.
The Chinese Ambassador to Zambia condemned the murders as “appalling and vicious act of violence”.
The three Chinese nationals from Jiangsu Province were murdered by three local Zambians who then set fire to the warehouse of a Chinese clothing company on Sunday.
According to the Zambian authorities, the suspects, two men, and one woman entered the warehouse and killed the victims before committing robbery, and then set afire to destroy evidence.
According to Global Times, a Chinese media outlet, the murders were committed by three Zambians pretending to be customers coming to buy goods at the warehouse of a Chinese clothing company.
The warehouse in Lusaka was owned by Lu Yutong, a Chinese national from the city of Nantong. He was in China when the incident took place. One of the victims was his wife. The other two were employees. Zambian police spotted bloodstains on the floor right from the entrance and a machete was also found inside the house on the floor near the bed. One suspect aged 22 area was apprehended.
The murders happened during a difficult time in Sino-African relations. The Chinese media openly accuse the Western media and local politicians of negatively influencing the perception of Zambian citizens against the Chinese over the origin of the coronavirus. The Chinese media, however, do not mention the numerous recent episodes of racism in China against African citizens. African citizens, particularly in Guangzhou, were driven out of the street or confined to their apartments and barred from accessing hospitals, hotels, and restaurants. These episodes echoed in Africa, and have been reported locally.
According to the Global Times the culprit of the murders was the “false Western reports generating a bad impression of Chinese”. “Those who thought the novel coronavirus originated in China were staying away from Chinese and this had induced conflict between Chinese and local Zambians.”
The Global Times also said that “some reports by Western and local media and politicians have stigmatized China and are affecting Africans’ ideas of China and Chinese people” linking the murders to the deterioration of relations between China and Africa.
On the 19th, a Chinese restaurant in Zambia’s capital Lusaka was closed by the local authorities after allegedly denying the entry of a local. “Apartheid finished a long time ago in Lusaka after Zambia gained independence in 1964,” the mayor of Lukasa added.
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