China Warns Citizens About Travel To South Africa

China has become the latest country to issue a warning to its citizens travel to South Africa, as well as from South Africa, in light of recent deadly Xenophobic violence directed at foreigners over the past three weeks. A press release on Monday from the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government issued an Amber Outbound Travel Alert, stating, “Residents intending to visit South Africa or are already there should monitor the situation, exercise caution, attend to personal safety and avoid protests and large gatherings of people.” Amber is the lowest level alert that could be issued by the Chinese government.

The press release also encouraged Chinese nationals with concerns to contact a 24-hour hotline at (852) 1868 or to contact the Chinese South African Embassy Consular protection hotline at (0027) 785857708. This warning by the Chinese government follows similar warnings recently issued to travelers by the Australian and UK governments.

Over the past two weeks, travel to South Africa has been rocked by anti-migrant violence directed at foreigners. Attacks across the country that have left at least seven people dead in Durban, Johannesburg and other cities across South Africa. The South African National Defense Force was recently deployed to help police curb violence across the country, but the past few weeks remain come of the most violent anti-migrant weeks in recent South African history.

The violence is believed to have been sparked by comments made by South Africa Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini, who recently stated that foreigners in the country should “Pack their bags and go,” and implied that the migrant population in the country was taking jobs from South Africans. Today, South African President Jacob Zuma announced that he will be meeting with leaders of foreign national organizations on Thursday to discuss how to prevent further violence in the future.

“The meeting is part of building lasting partnerships with stakeholders in the country to ensure that the shameful attacks on foreign nationals do not recur in the country.” spokesman Mac Maharaj said in a statement today. “Foreign nationals have for years been successfully integrated into many communities in the country and government thus seeks to gain lessons from these successes.”

In the Gambia – a small country on the west coast of Africa – there is currently no national health system: