Attacks on Chinese students in Australia a reflection of politicians’ anti-China attitude

By Yang Sheng Source:Global Times Published: 2017/12/19 23:18:39

Chinese consulate warns students of attacks in Australia

Chinese consulate-general in Melbourne warned Chinese students in Australia of potential threats to them on Tuesday due to a recent series of attacks against Chinese people across Australia. The incidents have already dampened Australia's image as a safe study destination for Chinese students.

"Recently, there have been several cases of assaults and attacks against Chinese students in different parts of Australia," the consulate-general said in a notice posted on its website on Tuesday.

"We remind all Chinese overseas students in Australia to be wary of possible safety risks in Australia," the statement said.

"Insults on Chinese people are becoming more normal here, not only by those with a lower level of education, but also by various well-educated politicians who are using political prejudice to spread racism, and we can do nothing to stop them. Australia is not as attractive to me now, not the same as before," an anonymous Chinese student studying at the University of Sydney told the Global Times on Tuesday.

In announcing new espionage legislation on December 12, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said he was concerned about China's influence on Australia's domestic affairs, ABC news reported.

"We are just ordinary students who are studying for a degree, and now we are suffering from the consequence caused by their political lies," the anonymous Chinese student said.

On October 23, two Chinese students were attacked and injured in Canberra. The two were allegedly attacked after they declined to give cigarettes to at least two local teenagers at a bus interchange. Several Chinese students in Canberra then spoke out that it was one of a series of recent incidents of harassment in the south of the city, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported.

Chinese students need to keep in mind that Australia is not China, and they should not overestimate the public security of other countries, said Yu Lei, a research fellow at the Oceania Research Center of Sun Yat-sen University. "In China, many teenagers love to eat, drink and have fun outside after midnight and go home at 3am or later, but in Australia, the common knowledge is that you shouldn't stay out too late."

"The living standards of Chinese students' are better than some local people, which could also bring about problems. Chinese living in middle or wealthy neighborhoods are probably safer than those Chinese who live in lower class areas" Yu said.

Losing confidence

In the past, attacks targeted toward Chinese students were quite rare in Australia, but in recent years, with an increase in Chinese students and immigrants in general, attacks have become more common, Yu said. "But we should not conclude that Australian people are anti-Chinese, as it is normal that when the population of a foreign community increases rapidly, there will be some friction with the local community. Indian students and immigrants also experienced a similar situation in Australia before."

Unfortunately, the situation has caused some Chinese students to lose confidence in Australia.

"If we haven't done anything wrong and we get insulted and attacked only because of our skin color and race, then this society is too unjust, unfair and inhuman," said a Chinese student at the University of Melbourne.

Newspaper headline: Australian politicians incite attacks on Chinese


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