Sep 09, 2016

    British MP slams Air China magazine for 'racist' advice


    A BRITISH MP on Wednesday criticised Air China for alleged "racist" travel tips offered to clients visiting London.

    The airline's Wings Of China magazine reportedly said: "London is generally a safe place to travel, however precautions are needed when entering areas mainly populated by Indians, Pakistanis and black people."

    "We advise tourists not to go out alone at night, and females always to be accompanied by another person when travelling," it added.

    The description prompted London MP Virendra Sharma to complain to the Chinese government.

    "I am shocked and appalled that, even today, some people would see it as acceptable to write such blatantly untrue and racist statements," he said in an online statement.

    "I have raised this issue with the Chinese ambassador, and requested that he ensures an apology is swiftly forthcoming from Air China, and the magazine is removed from circulation immediately," Mr Sharma said.

    On Chinese social media, most commenters expressed bafflement at the backlash.

    One user of China's Twitter-like Weibo platform asked: "This is just stating the truth - what is there to apologise about?"

    The report comes during a period of tension between Beijing and London.

    British Prime Minister Theresa May returned to London this week from the G20 summit in China, where she defended her decision to delay giving the go-ahead to a nuclear power project in which Beijing has substantial investment.

    China has a one-third stake in the plan to build Britain's first nuclear plant in decades at Hinkley Point, along with French company EDF.

    Mrs May said on Sunday she would make a decision this month.