A recent spate of violence targeting foreigners in Durban, South Africa has forced several Chinese business owners to close shop and led China to lodge a formal complaint.
According to Ecns, nearly 40 Chinese-owned businesses have closed and Chinese citizens are being encouraged to be alert for their safety.
The recent violence is directed towards immigrants that South Africans believe are entering the country illegally, committing crimes and stealing local jobs.
While the unrest began in Durban, it soon spread to Johannesburg, prompting the government to deploy armed security forces on the streets.
President Zuma condemned the violence, in which six people have already died, calling it “shocking and unacceptable,” however he also recognized that South Africans had concerns over illegal and undocumented immigrants in the country.
While the violence has mainly targeted Africans from neighboring countries, the Chinese Embassy and Consulates in South Africa are calling for immediate and effective measures to protect the personal safety and property of Chinese nationals.
The timing could not be worse from a diplomatic standpoint, with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi visiting the country as the violence flared up.
South Africa has a large Chinese immigrant population, with estimates ranging from 200,000 to over 300,000.
By Dominic Jackson