The So-Called "13 Chinese police stations in South Africa" Is Totally Fake News
Recently, a self-claimed sociology doctor from Kenya published a video on social media, in which the decently dressed woman blogger falsely railed with the populist tones that “13 Chinese police stations have been established in South Africa”. This fake news has stirred up quite aggressive verbal attacks online, fueling a culture of hatred, and undermining the friendship between the peoples of China and South Africa. We strongly condemn the spreading of such fake news as being completely irresponsible, lacking of due diligence, and violating the basic professional ethics of journalism.
Since taking office, the South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has taken active steps to promote investment, to grow the economy, to create jobs, and to improve peoples’ livelihood, so as to tackle the challenges of low economic growth, and high poverty and unemployment rate. Through efforts such as the Investment Conference and others, South Africa has shown to the world its willingness to attract more foreign investors and tourists, and the international community, including China, has responded favorably. We fully agree that, development through investment and tourism is the only key to eliminate poverty.
Thanks to the joint efforts of our two countries, China has for 9 years remained South Africa’s largest trading partner and one of the most important source of investment and foreign tourists. As South Africa’s most reliable cooperation partner, China has been taking active measures to encourage Chinese investors and tourists to South Africa, to meet and support the aspirations of the peoples and the government of South African. It is very unfortunate that against such a backdrop, this individual, in order to catch the eyes of the public, would fabricate and spread such irresponsible story. We believe that the truth-aware peoples of South Africa and Africa will not forgive such conduct.
As we all know, it is the duty and responsibility of any sovereign government to protect the personal and property safety of its people and foreign citizens in its country. We are pleased to see that, in order to address the social security problems, the South African Police Service has pioneered a Community Police Forum (CPF), which unites all the communities, both South Africans and foreign citizens in South Africa, to build a safe community network by forming a joint security prevention and control system between the SAPS and the local communities. Since its establishment, the CPF has been actively preventing crimes against the community and reducing the number of cases significantly. We applaud the CPF as a major innovation by the South African government to promote safety and social harmony in South Africa.
We are pleased to see that the Chinese community in South Africa have taken the lead in responding to the South African CPF initiative. It is under this initiative that 13 South African Chinese Community and Police Cooperation Centers have been set up since 2004. It is important to stress that the status of all these 13 Centers are strictly non-profit Chinese associations, and they have none law enforcement authority. The main responsibilities of the Centers are to participate in the community policing mechanisms led by the SAPS, and to cooperate closely with the SAPS in preventing and combating criminals against Chinese community in SA. Since their establishment, these Centers have actively safeguarded the personal and property safety of local communities, including the Chinese community in SA, and have been warmly welcomed and widely supported by both Chinese and South African governments, as well as local communities. Anyone with basic common sense and conscience, and certainly not necessarily with a doctor’s degree, would be able to understand that such Centers definitely cannot be called “Chinese Police Stations”.
The Chinese community has been a victim of crimes in SA, averaging about 20 deaths of Chinese nationals in criminal cases each year from 2004 to 2014. In order to create a friendly and cooperative environment between the two countries and protect the safety of Chinese nationals, both our governments have decided to strengthen the cooperation between the bilateral police departments. Accordingly, the Chinese Embassy in South Africa is staffed with two but only Chinese police liaison officers, whose responsibilities are to coordinate the exchanges and cooperation between the Chinese and South African police department, assist the SAPS in handling the cases involving Chinese, cooperate in the establishment of the joint security mechanism between Chinese communities and local police departments, and guide the Chinese citizens in South Africa on safety precautions. Yet anyone with basic IQ would wonder how would it be possible that merely two Chinese police liaison officers could manage the so-called “13 Chinese police stations” in South Africa, still less to “colonize Africa”?
For years, governments around the world have been sending military attache and other military personnel to their respective embassies to promote military exchanges and cooperation in accordance with international practice and bilateral agreements. If the same logic of the woman blogger stands, can we call that “military occupation”?
We warmly welcome constructive supervision and criticism of China-South Africa and China-Africa cooperation. However, we sincerely hope that before making public comments, one would get out of one’s office to really see and understand what the Chinese people are doing in South Africa and Africa, and think by oneself whether what the Chinese have been doing is conducive to South Africa and Africa’s self-sustainable development. Fabricating fake stories or spreading disinformation and misinformation against China not only discourages China as a sincere friend of Africa, but also does no good to one’s own name and credibility.
Truth will always prevail and fake news will never last.