The latest incident occurred in Rwanda’s western Rutsiro province where a Chinese mining manager was caught on video whipping a local employee accused of stealing. The video shows the local employee tied to a pole with his hands bound and clearly showing signs of physical distress from the lashings.
Although the clip was posted on The Chronicles newspaper’s Twitter feed on Monday, it’s not clear when the incident actually took place. Nonetheless, the video prompted authorities to take immediate action by arresting the Chinese national soon after the clip appeared online.
Another interesting trend to watch is how quickly Chinese embassies in Africa are now responding. Until recently, Chinese embassies would only reluctantly respond, if at all, to these kinds of incidents. But in both Sierra Leone and now in Rwanda, the embassies promptly issued statements denouncing the violence within the same news cycle.
Hudson Wang, China’s economic and commercial counsellor in Kigali, went even further. “If he did that in China, he would also be arrested,” he wrote in a Twitter thread about the video. “Some people lack in basic and sufficient awareness of honouring the laws, and cannot control their own wild impulsive and negative emotions when they assume they are offended.”
This article was first published in The China Africa Project.
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