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Chinese TV features blackface performers in New Year's gala

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BEIJING – Chinese state TV included dancers in blackface depicting Africans during a national broadcast Thursday as Asia welcomed the lunar Year of the Ox with subdued festivities amid travel curbs to contain renewed coronavirus outbreaks.

The “African Song and Dance” performance came at start of the Spring Festival Gala, one of the world’s most-watched TV programs.

It included dancers in African-style costumes and dark face makeup beating drums. The five-hour annual program, which state TV has said in the past is watched by as many as 800 million people, also included tributes to nurses, doctors and others who fought the coronavirus pandemic that began in central China in late 2019.

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