Chinese motorcycle dealer has been deported from Kenya after video leaked online earlier this week showing him making a number of racist comments, igniting outrage across the country.
“Every one, every Kenyan… like a monkey, even [Kenyan President] Uhuru Kenyatta,” the Chinese national, identified as Liu Jiaqi, tells a Kenyan employee that he is threatening to fire in the video clip which began circulating on Facebook and Twitter on Wednesday.
“I don’t like you, like monkey people, you smell bad, and poor, foolish, and black,” Liu, who goes by the nickname “Judge” continues.
When the employee asks Liu why then does he want to stay in Kenya, Liu simply replies, “money is important.”
Hours after the video went viral, Liu’s work permit was revoked and he was arrested. The following day, Kenya’s immigration department announced that Liu had been deported due to his racist remarks.
— Immigration Kenya. (@ImmigrationDept) September 6, 2018
The Chinese embassy in Nairobi said that the video was filmed in June at Liu’s motorcycle company in the town of Ruiru. The embassy added that Liu had later been punished by his employers and had apologized to the employee for his remarks.
“The personal talk and personal feeling of this young man does not represent the views of the vast majority of Chinese people,” said embassy spokesperson Zhang Gang.
However, the employee who recorded the video said that Liu’s remarks were nothing out of the ordinary at the Chinese-owned motorcycle dealership.
“The company has about 8 Chinese and 12 Kenyans and all the Chinese here are our bosses and we do not know who is the overall boss. Insults here are a common occurrence and we just persevere to keep our jobs,” the employee told local media.
Some Kenyans have voiced their anger about Liu being deported, insisting that he should be imprisoned instead. The calls for Liu being put behind bars come as part of a growing wave of resentment against Chinese business owners, workers, and investment in Kenya.
Back in June, an explosive report emerged, accusing the Chinese staff and managers of Kenya’s Standard Gauge Railway of “neo-colonialism, racism, and blatant discrimination.” The $3.2 billion railway connecting Nairobi with the coastal city of Mombasa was funded and built by China and has been held up by Beijing as a symbol of Sino-African ties.
However, the report alleges that “unwritten rules” prevent Kenyan workers from sharing tables at the cafeteria with Chinese staff or from riding in the same vans. The Kenyan government has denied these reports.
Liu’s arrest came just one day after police in Nairobi raided the African headquarters of China Global Television Network (CGTN) as part of a crackdown on illegal immigration. A number of Chinese journalists and staff were briefly arrested until their papers were found to be in order.
Drama at CGTN over crackdown on illegal immigrants. pic.twitter.com/1BoSGDudlw
— NTV Kenya (@ntvkenya) September 5, 2018
While the raid was going on President Uhuru Kenyatta was in Beijing, attending a China-Africa summit and continuing to hammer out the details of a deal with Beijing to extend the Standard Gauge Railway, an extension estimated to cost another $3.5 billion.