Travel, education alert over risk of racist attacks in Australia based on facts: Chinese FM

Source:Global Times Published: 2020/6/17 17:57:25

Foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian is making remarks at a press briefing on Feb. 24. Photo: the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

It is the duty and obligation of the Chinese government to protect the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese citizens and Chinese students by issuing travel safety alerts and early warnings for study in Australia based on the facts of the prevalence of violence against Chinese there, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday. 

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian made the remarks at a press briefing Wednesday in response to Australian Foreign minister Marise Payne's accusation that China was creating "a climate of fear and division" and the claim that the travel safety alert issued by the Chinese government is disinformation.

 "Australian officials described the plain facts of reality and violence against Chinese in Australia as 'disinformation'. Where did they put the rights and feelings of those victims? Once again, I would urge them to listen to the voice of the victims, confront the problem and reflect on themselves," Zhao said.

Zhao also rejected the idea that Australia's public call for a review of the COVID-19 epidemic is in its best long-term interests.

"Frankly speaking, we don't believe that it is in Australia's best long-term interest to engage in political manipulation of the epidemic out of its own political self-interest, regardless of facts and at the expense of international cooperation in the battle against COVID-19," he said.

The Chinese Ministry of Education (MOE) issued a warning on June 9 advising students to fully assess the risks of the pandemic and racist discrimination and be cautious in traveling to Australia for overseas study, which came days after China's Ministry of Culture and Tourism's travel alert over risks of racist attacks in Australia. 

Australian universities and officials argued against the warning, claiming that there is no evidence of a surge in racism in Australia.

But a tally of racist incidents against Chinese has been uncovered amid the pandemic and abundant evidence has been reported, even by Australia's own media.

In March, a Chinese student from Hong Kong was punched in the face and injured for wearing a face mask, while a pair of Chinese students were attacked by local gang members in broad daylight in April. Chinese business owners were also targeted, finding racist slogans outside their shops and restaurants, or their properties vandalized.


blog comments powered by Disqus