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China complains to S. Africa over xenophobic attacks

Updated: 2015-04-17 09:15

China complains to S. Africa over xenophobic attacks

Local residents run away as police fired rubber bullets and teargas to disperse a crowd of anti-immigrant protesters outside a hostel in Actonville, east Johannesburg, South Africa, Thursday, April 16, 2015. Fears of anti-immigrant attacks have escalated sending foreigners seeking refuge in camps and a police station. [Photo/IC]

BEIJING - A Foreign Ministry spokesperson said on Thursday that China has already made formal complaints to South Africa over xenophobic attacks against Chinese nationals.

Scores of shops owned by Chinese nationals have been looted during the latest spate of violence, which was sparked by growing complaints by locals that foreigners have entered the country illegally, engaged in illegal trade and committed crimes.

At least six people have reportedly been killed in the violence that erupted on March 25, most of them foreigners. More than 100 foreign-owned shops have been burned and thousands of foreigners displaced.

The Chinese Embassy and Consulates in South Africa have expressed sympathy for Chinese nationals ransacked by disgruntled locals and filed complaints to local police, urging them to take immediate and effective measures to protect the personal safety and property of Chinese nationals, said spokesperson Hong Lei.

The Chinese Embassy and Consulates in South Africa have also issued risk alerts through a variety of channels to remind Chinese citizens and enterprises to strengthen safety precautions, he said.

Hong said the Chinese Foreign Ministry as well as the Chinese Embassy and Consulates in South Africa will continue to pay close attention to the situation and safeguard the security and lawful rights and interests of China's citizens.

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