Racial Conflict Hits 2nd Chinese City
Racial conflict between African and Chinese students was reported in another city today, and more than 60 Africans were sequestered in a dormitory to protest allegations by authorities that they have AIDS.
The incident at the Zhejiang Agriculture University in Hangzhou took place against the backdrop of continued anti-black demonstrations in Nanjing, where Chinese students are demanding that African students involved in a Christmas Eve brawl be punished.
Martin Ayuk, a student from Cameroon, said the problems in Hangzhou, 143 miles southeast of Nanjing, began Dec. 23 when a university operator started telling all Chinese callers to the foreign students’ dormitory that all African students were infected with AIDS.
African students asked the university for an explanation but were not satisfied by a meeting with a university official, “so we began our boycott,” Ayuk said in a telephone interview from Hangzhou.
On Wednesday, a school finance officer came to the dormitory and students locked him in an office, Ayuk said. After nine hours of captivity, the official escaped through a window at 5 a.m. Thursday as the African students slept, he said.
Ayuk said he believed the Chinese are prejudiced against all foreigners, but most strongly against Africans.
He said the Africans had been given a nickname in Hangzhou: “aizu bing,” the Chinese words for AIDS.
A student at the agricultural college from the Congo was sent home in November after he tested positive for AIDS, but all the other African students have tested negative for the disease, Ayuk said.