A fugitive Chinese national wanted in Malawi for filming children singing racist chants in Chinese has been arrested in Zambia, an immigration official said Monday.
“He was arrested in Chipata, Zambia after fleeing the country through uncharted routes,” Malawi immigration spokesman Pasqually Zulu said.
Mr Zulu said the two countries were now liaising to have the Chinese national sent to Malawi for the authorities to continue their investigation.
Lu Ke is accused of exploiting children in Malawian villages by filming them making racist remarks about themselves, in Chinese phrases they did not understand.
These videos can be bought for up to $70 (£55) on Chinese social media and internet platforms.
Lu Ke denied making derogatory videos.
“We want him to stand trial in Malawi,” police spokesman Harry Namwaza said, adding that his country would seek Lu’s extradition.
In one video, a young child aged about nine is heard saying: “I am a monster with low IQ.”
In a statement last week, the Chinese Embassy in Malawi condemned the acts of racism by one of its citizens.
“It shall be stressed that the Chinese government has zero tolerance for racism,” it said.
“China has been cracking down on unlawful online acts in the past years and will continue to do so. The embassy will closely work with the Malawi side and see to it that this unfortunate issue be properly addressed.”
Malawi’s foreign affairs ministry said it would engage its Chinese counterparts on the issue.
“We are trying to manage whatever aspect of this that involves us working with the Chinese government. For the rest of the other aspects, those are internal issues that are being handled by internal state organs,” the ministry’s spokesman John Kabaghe said.
Malawi and China have had diplomatic relations since 2008, when Malawi established ties with China over Taiwan.
Since 2000, China has funded 21 development projects, including a US$70 million highway linking Malawi and Zambia.
An US$80 million loan from the Export Import Bank of China paid to construct a new university, a new parliament building, and a national stadium.