The Chinese Embassy has stated that the country did not maltreat Nigerians and other nationals.
The Embassy said this in a statement posted on its website on Sunday.
The reaction followed condemnations over viral videos showing Nigerians in China being chased to the streets amid dispute over COVID-19 directives.
The Embassy recalled that on April 10, Ambassador Zhou Pingjian met with Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker of the House of Representatives.
“During the meeting, the Ambassador was offered to watch a mobile phone video clip about the purported improper treatment on some Nigerian citizens in Guangzhou, China”, it read.
“The Ambassador made it clear that judging from the one video clip on that mobile phone, the approach of the relevant epidemic prevention and control personnel was not inappropriate.
“We treat all foreign nationals equally in China. We reject differential treatment and have zero tolerance for discrimination.
“To prevent and control the pandemic, we need understanding, support and cooperation from both Chinese and foreign nationals in China.
“We urge all foreigners in China to strictly observe local anti-epidemic regulations. China values her friendly relations with Nigeria. The Embassy stands ready to keep in communication with the Nigerian side in this regard.
“To keep social distance during the pandemic, the said mobile phone with the video clip was placed on the tea table. Any other interpretation of the scene does not conform with what was actually there during the meeting.”
Femi Gbajamiala said:” If the diplomatic relationships between our two countries are for the mutual benefits of our citizens, then there must be respect for our citizens, and we should not compromise it.
“As a government, we will not allow Chinese or other nationals to be maltreated just as we will not allow Nigerians to be maltreated in other countries.
“The way you treat your citizens, we expect that’s how you’ll treat others. We will not tolerate our citizens breaking your laws, but the crime of one citizen cannot be used to stigmatize the whole country.
“It appears that’s what happened in this case. You can’t use one brush to smear the whole wall. Whatever the reason, it cannot be used and taken out on the entire community in China, he said.
Ambassador Pingjian, in his response, said that he had not been briefed concerning the issue as at the time of the meeting
“We take our relationship with Nigeria very seriously. Until we receive a full report from back home, I cannot act, but I can assure you it is not a policy issue.
“We treat everyone equally, but during the implementation of the COVID-19 measures in China, it is possible for some incidents; all I do is to take it back home, today I will, ” he assured.