Kenya deports Chinese man over ‘racist rant’

A Chinese man has been deported after a video emerged of him making racist comments, Kenya’s immigration department says.

The man, indentified as Liu Jiaqi, was captured in a video calling all Kenyans, including President Uhuru Kenyatta, “monkeys”.

Mr Liu and his representatives have yet to comment on the situation.

The authorities have revoked his work permit and say he was arrested after making racist remarks.

An employee filmed Mr Liu, who is a motorcycle trader, saying that he disliked Kenya because it “smells bad and [its people are] poor, foolish and black”.

When the employee asked why he wanted to stay in the country, the trader said he was only there to make money.

Police arrested him hours after the video was circulated online on 5 September.

When was he filmed?

Mr Liu appeared to be threatening to fire an employee in the three-minute video, which according to the Chinese embassy was filmed in June.

When the employee asked why he was being targeted, Mr Liu said it was because the employee was Kenyan.

Mr Liu then launched into an offensive diatribe about why he disliked the country and its people.

“All the Kenyans [are] like a monkey, even Uhuru Kenyatta,” Mr Liu said.

Nairobi’s Chinese embassy spokesperson, Zhang Gang, told AFP that Mr Liu “has already been punished by his company for his wrongdoing and apologised to his Kenyan colleague”.

“The personal talk and personal feeling of this young man does not represent the views of the vast majority of Chinese people,” he said.

Why was he deported?

In a tweet the immigration department said that he had been arrested “due to his racism remarks”.

But it is unclear whether the immigration department can deport someone on grounds of racism.

Yes. It is the first case of someone being deported but there have been other allegations of racism.

In 2015, the owner of a Chinese restaurant in Nairobi was arrested after public outrage over the restaurant’s alleged policy of banning African customers at night.

The owner was charged with operating without a liquor licence and failing to meet public health standards, but nothing to do with racism, our reporter says.

Celebrating launch of new railway
Image copyright EPA. This Chinese-built railway was opened last year to great fanfare.

Kenyan employees of the much vaunted Chinese-operated Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) project have also alleged wage discrimination and mistreatment.

It included an “unwritten rule” that Kenyan workers do not sit at the same table as the Chinese staff at the canteen, the Kenyan daily The Standard reports.

However, the Kenyan government has dismissed those allegations.

What are relations like between Kenyans and Chinese?

There are an estimated 10,000 Chinese nationals living in the East African country – their move is part of a growing link that has been propelled by China’s investment in the country.

China has invested millions of dollars into Kenya in recent years, including the SGR railway project which links the capital, Nairobi, to the coast.

President Kenyatta was in Beijing earlier this week to take part in the China-Africa cooperation summit where he said: “Kenya appreciates China’s demonstrated commitment in supporting Kenya’s development goals.”

News of Mr Liu’s potential deportation came a day after police in Nairobi raided the African headquarters of China Global Television Network (CGTN) as part of a crackdown on illegal immigrants.

Several journalists were briefly detained but released after their papers were found to be in order.

The Chinese embassy said it would express its concern through diplomatic channels after several incidents in which its nationals with legal documents were hauled into police stations, AFP reports.

First Published 06.08.18:

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