A Chinese airline has sparked a race row after its in-flight magazine warned travelers to London to dodge the city’s ethnic minority areas.
The article-- which appeared in the in-flight magazine Wings of China, distributed on Air China – has been branded as "racist," "outrageous" and "insulting" by online commenters and public officials.
“London is generally a safe place to travel, however precautions are needed when entering areas mainly populated by Indians, Pakistanis and black people,” it reads.
“We advise tourists not to go out alone at night, and females always to be accompanied by another person when travelling.”
The phrase is then repeated in both Mandarin and English in the magazine’s in-depth feature on the multi-cultural capital.
The article was spotted by Chinese journalist Haze Fan on a flight in China.
It enraged her so much she tweeted a picture of it to Mayor of London Sadiq Khan asking him what he thought.
She wrote how her Londoner fiancée “felt it rather insulting”.
Now politicians are demanding an apology and that the phrase is removed from the publication.
China Air, which is Asia’s third biggest airline and flies twice daily between London and Beijing has yet to comment.
But Dr. Rosena Allin-Khan, Labour MP for Tooting, which has one of the largest Indian and Pakistani populations in London, told the Standard: “My initial thoughts were that the comments were outrageous.
“I think that it is offensive to Londoners and I would like to see it removed. I would also like to ask the airline why they thought these precautions needed to be taken. Why they feel they needed to warn people of something that is not reflective of London at all?"
Lambeth and Southwark London assembly member Florence Eshalomi added “you couldn’t make up these outdated and near-on racist views."
She said: “I keep thinking, is this 2016? We want people who embrace our diversity and different culture – that is the make-up of London.
“If airlines have a problem with that then we don’t want them in London.”
A spokesman from civil rights campaign group Hope Not Hate spokesman said: “It beggars belief to understand how they could have been written in the first place. They should be removed immediately. Londoners deserve an apology.”
Britain is an increasingly popular destination for Chinese tourists. According to government agency VisitBritain, more than 270,000 Chinese visited Britain in 2015, up 46 percent on the previous year.
This was after the number of Chinese tourists doubled in the five years to 2014.
Chinese visitors spent $786 million in total in Britain in 2015, up 18 percent on 2014.
And in January, Britain launched a new, two-year, multiple-entry visa in a bid to woo even more Chinese visitors to its shores, following changes made in 2015 that allowed tourists and business travellers to apply for both British and European visas in a single process.
Chinese companies have been criticised previously for their depictions of various races.
In May, a Chinese detergent company apologised for a commercial that showed an Asian woman shoving a dirt-smeared black man into a washing machine, only for him to emerge as a clean Asian man.
The ad, which ran on Chinese social media platforms, was quickly dubbed “the most racist commercial ever.”