CHINA / SOCIETY
Australia urged to correct racism as survey reveals level of discrimination against Chinese
Published: Mar 03, 2021 08:45 PM
A man runs in a park opposite the Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia, on Feb. 26, 2021. Restrictions in the Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) will further ease from Friday as vaccination rolled out and no local case status continued. (Xinhua/Bai Xuefei)

A man runs in a park opposite the Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia, on Feb. 26, 2021. Restrictions in the Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) will further ease from Friday as vaccination rolled out and "no local case" status continued. (Xinhua/Bai Xuefei)



Calls for Australia to act and correct its discrimination against Asians are increasing, as netizens and analysts advised the Chinese government to reassess the country's multicultural tolerance and issue fresh alerts on traveling to Australia out of safety risks, after a report from an Australian think tank revealed serious racial attacks against Chinese.

China is deeply concerned about the continuing discrimination against Asian people including overseas Chinese in Australia, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday, urging Australia to face the problem and take concrete measures to strengthen the education of its citizens. 

The discrimination against Chinese in Australia has posed a serious threat to the safety and legitimate rights of Chinese people in the country, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at Wednesday's media briefing. 

We hope Australia will face up to the problem, take concrete measures to strengthen education of its citizens and properly resolve the issues of racism and discrimination and protect the safety and legitimate rights of Chinese in Australia, Wang said. 

Wang made the remarks after a report from Australian think tank Lowy Institute showed that of more than 1,000 Chinese-Australians surveyed, 18 percent reported being physically threatened or attacked because of their ethnic background in the 12 months to December 2020, AFP reported.

Also, 37 percent of Chinese-Australians felt they had been treated differently or less favorably because of their heritage. The report pointed to the souring China-Australia relations and the COVID-19 as driving forces.

Chen Hong, director of the Australian Studies Center at East China Normal University in Shanghai, told the Global Times on Wednesday that the Australian survey is "shocking" which shows that Australian society is not welcoming or inclusive as it has long been boasting any more. 

Chen advised the Chinese government as a responsible government to reassess the nature of the Australian society including its multicultural tolerance.

Given the survey data and previously reported racial attacks in Australia, Chen said whether Australia is a destination that is good for travel, study and business for Chinese has become doubtful.

Any responsible country like China would advice its people over their travel, study and business destination after the reassessment, Chen noted.

China's Ministry of Education issued its first 2021 warning on studying in Australia on February 5 due to recent anti-Chinese attacks in the country and the serious COVID-19 epidemic, a move that experts believed was prompt and necessary for the safety of Chinese students. 

Chinese netizens are also concerned over safety in Australia, some urging China's Ministry of Culture and Tourism to issue a fresh warning on traveling to Australia.

Chen believes that the hostile atmosphere in Australia needs a long time to ease, and it will take time for Chinese and other Asians to feel secure in Australia, so the warnings cannot be canceled overnight once they are released.

There have been a growing number of reports of Chinese students being abused and beaten in Australia, apparently due to race, the Global Times has learned.

For example, Chinese student Andrew Shih of University of Queensland shared his experience on Facebook that a "racist man" yelled at him on January 20 afternoon. "Go back to where you're from. I'm going to f-ing kill you." Then Andrew was beaten by the man, who kept punching his head.

Andrew was sent to the hospital. He suffered from severe concussion with some memory loss, and had multiple bruises and abrasions on his face, knees, elbows, hands, and hip.

Andrew warned the public that "racism is getting more serious in this country. Don't be ignorant."

In June 2020, China's Ministry of Culture and Tourism issued a travel warning to Chinese people not to travel to Australia. 

The minister of the Chinese Embassy in Australia Wang Xining said in an article published on Monday that the embassy has released a lot of information about Chinese and Australian people helping each other during the COVID-19 epidemic, which was ignored by Australian media. 

The media's deliberate smears against China turned out to be complete nonsense, but unfortunately the damage has been done, and the image of China's friends in the country has been severely harmed.

Chinese observers believe that Australian media outlets and politicians who followed Trumpism have soured China-Australian relations.


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