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Air China's London 'Safety Tips' in In-Flight Mag Upset Brits

Image: Air China's London 'Safety Tips' in In-Flight Mag Upset Brits

An Air China Boeing 777 jet taxis to a gate after landing at Beijing International Airport on Sept. 5, 2013. (AP Photo/Alexander F. Yuan)

By    |   Friday, 09 Sep 2016 06:58 AM

Air China magazine's "safety tips" about London's ethnic minority areas have been called offensive by some city officials, with one Member of Parliament asking China's ambassador to the United Kingdom to intervene.

Text from the magazine that appeared on social media sparked outrage, stating that "precautions are needed when entering areas mainly populated by Indians, Pakistanis and black people," The Guardian reported.

Haze Fan, a Beijing-based producer with CNBC posted the photo of the instructions on Twitter this week.

"The advice is at odds with the London promoted by its Mayor Sadiq Khan, a Brit with Pakistani parents, who in July launched a #LondonisOpen campaign and frequently blogs about his favorite places to eat and drink in his South London Indian-Pakistani neighborhood of Tooting," Fan wrote for CNBC.

Virendra Sharma, Labour Member of Parliament from Ealing Southall, where the population is 39 percent Asian, wrote to Liu Xiaoming, China's ambassador to Britain, stating that the magazine's comments were "blatant racism," The Guardian said.

"I am shocked and appalled that even today some people would see it as acceptable to write such blatantly untrue and racist statements," Sharma said, noted The Guardian. "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."

Air China issued a statement Thursday, calling the comments in the article "inappropriate" and ordered that all the magazines with the article be removed from its airplanes. 

That was followed by an apology from the airline, stating that the "inappropriate expressions in the article are merely the mistakes made by the editors, but by no means represent the views of the magazine."

The Associated Press's Louise Watt wrote that the magazine incident was an example that "companies and much of the population in China remain somewhat oblivious to racial sensitivities, partly a result of China's overwhelming ethnic homogeneity and a relative lack of contact with foreigners until recent years that has allowed stereotypes to persist."

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Air China magazine's "safety tips" about London's ethnic minority areas have been called offensive by some city officials, with one Member of Parliament asking China's ambassador to the United Kingdom to intervene.
air china, london, magazine
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2016-58-09
Friday, 09 Sep 2016 06:58 AM
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