British MP accuses Air China of 'racist' tips amid strained China, UK relations

Britain and China are at a 'crucial historical juncture' warned Chinese ambassador to Britain last month. Photograph:( Getty )

AFP London, United Kingdom Sep 08, 2016, 02.55 AM (IST)
A British MP on Wednesday slammed Air China for alleged "racist" travel advice offered to clients visiting London, AFP reported today. 

"London is generally a safe place to travel, however precautions are needed when entering areas mainly populated by Indians, Pakistanis and black people,"  the airline's "Wings of China" magazine reportedly said, according to a photographed published by CNBC. The flight magazine provides safety advice to travellers based on the "race and nationality" of local residents.

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

The description has prompted a member of parliament from London, Virendra Sharma, who emigrated from India to the UK in the 1960s, 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," Sharma said. 

Neither Air China nor the Chinese embassy were immediately available to comment on the report, which comes during a period of tension between Beijing and London.

The MP's reaction comes amid delay over the nuclear power plant backed by China.  British Prime Minister Theresa May returned to London this week from the G20 summit hosted by 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 in southwest England, along with French company EDF. 

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