While some may say that racism doesn’t exist in China, it does at least appear in its inflight magazines.
China’s flagship airline, Air China, is catching heat across the world for one section in a long feature article about visiting London that was published this month in its inflight magazine “Wings of China.” While most of the feature is either innocuous or silly (one part focuses on British people’s love of hats), under a section titled “Tips from Air China,” the airline gave this helpful advice:
“London is generally a safe place to travel, however precautions are needed when entering areas mainly populated by Indians,Pakistanis and black people. We advise tourists not to go out alone at night, and females always to be accompanied by another person when traveling.”
The paragraph was first tweeted by Chinese journalist Haze Fan and then published online by CNBC. Since then it’s been picked up by media outlets across the UK and outraged some local politicians. Air China has yet to respond to inquiries about the story. Current London mayor, Sadiq Khan, comes from a working class British Pakistani family and frequently talks and blogs about his favorite places to eat in Tooting, a neighborhood in South London dominated by Pakistani and Indian shops.
London is a favorite destination for Chinese tourists venturing abroad. As part of the “Golden Age of UK-China relations,” Britain began making it easier for Chinese travelers to come to the UK this year, offering a new, two-year, multiple-entry visa. CNBC reports that over 270,000 Chinese visited Britain last year, a 46% increase from the previous year.
[Images via CNBC]