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Air China Magazine Prints ‘Blatantly Untrue and Racist Statements’

An English translation in magazine cautions travelers about visiting ethnic communities.

A Chinese air carrier is receiving scorn from British politicians over a misguided warning printed in their in-flight magazine. BBC News reports at least two parliamentarians have called for an apology from Air China over what may be construed as a racist warning.

A CNBC producer flying aboard Air China first noted the caution printed in in-flight magazine Wings of China. In the safety statement about London, flyers were warned to take precautions when traveling to ethnic parts of the city. However, the language used to print that warning is considered off-color.

“[P]recautions are needed when entering areas mainly populated by Indians, Pakistanis and black people,” the English translation reads, as photographed by the CNBC producer. “We advise tourists not to go out alone at night and females always to be accompanied by another person while traveling.”

One parliamentarian has called the Chinese ambassador to the United Kingdom, demanding an apology. Another is inviting Chinese officials to visit his neighborhood of Ealing Southall to see the London Indian population first hand.

“I am shocked and appalled that even today some people would see it as acceptable to write such blatantly untrue and racist statements,” Labour Party politician Virendra Sharma told BBC News. “I have invited representatives of Air China to visit my constituency of Ealing Southall to see that a very multi-cultural area is safe, and would be of great value for those visiting London to see.”

He went on to comment that if Air China did not provide a response, he would bring up the question of Air China continuing operations in the United Kingdom.

The Chinese carrier operates two flights per day between Beijing and London Heathrow Airport (LHR). Air China has not publicly commented on the situation.


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