Air China in-flight magazine sparks outcry over 'racist' guide to London

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The article from the “Wings of China” in-flight magazine was first brought to the public’s attention on Wednesday by CNBC producer Haze Fan, who tweeted an image of the magazine to London Mayor Sadiq Khan, asking him what he thought about the comments.

A spokesman for Khan said the mayor’s office was drafting a statement in response to article.

The text at the center of the controversy reads: “London is generally a safe place to travel, however precautions are needed when entering areas mainly populated by Indians, Pakistanis and black people.”

The magazine also advises visitors to not “go out alone at night” and for women “always to be accompanied by another person when traveling.”

Two London MPs have since urged China’s ambassador to the UK, Liu Xiaoming, to issue an apology to their constituencies.

Labour Party MP Vivendra Sharma, said he was “shocked and appalled that even today some people would see it as acceptable to write such a blatantly untrue and racist statement.” Some 39 percent of the population in Sharma’s Ealing Southall constituency is Asian.



Labour MP for Tooting Rosena Allin-Khan and London Mayor Sadiq Khan

Labour MP for Tooting Rosena Allin-Khan and London Mayor Sadiq Khan

Rosena Allin-Khan, Labour MP for Tooting, which has one of the largest Indian and Pakistani populations in London, said the article was “offensive to all Londoners, not just the ethnic minorities mentioned.”

“I am going to be writing to the Chinese Ambassador to invite him to visit Tooting in London, where all races live side by side,” she told the “London Evening Standard.”

“Then they can see how we live and our wonderfully diverse community.”

Air China, which flies twice a day between Beijing and London, didn’t immediately comment. According to the UK’s tourist board, “VisitBritain,” some 270,000 trips were made to the UK from China in 2015 – an increase of 46 percent on the previous year.

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