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  • Nov 24, 2014
  • Updated: 11:25pm
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FRANCE

'Racist attack' on Chinese students in France sparks widespread outrage

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 16 June, 2013, 11:50am
UPDATED : Monday, 17 June, 2013, 8:35am
 

China’s internet users reacted with outrage to reports of a racist assault on six Chinese students studying in France, while others denounced the victims as children of wealthy officials.

The oenology students were attacked early on Saturday in the wine-producing Bordeaux region, France’s interior ministry said, describing the violence as an act of xenophobia.

The Chinese embassy in Paris said on Sunday that it “strongly condemns” the assault.

“We ask relevant authorities in France to investigate the case swiftly, to bring the perpetrators to justice, and take relevant action to ensure the safety of Chinese students,” it said in a statement.

Three of the alleged attackers have been detained and are now in police custody. A female student seriously hurt by a glass bottle thrown at her face during the assault was in hospital and underwent surgery.

The attack was widely criticised on China’s most popular social networking service, Sina Weibo.

“How dangerous is France! We need to be cautious about going there now, and avoid going as far as we can. We should go to better countries,” one user wrote.

“This is too far for the French people. My impression of France used to be quite good, but now it’s damaged,” said another.

One of the victims was the daughter of a retired senior government official, the head of the student’s school said.

Chinese media carried reports of the attacks on Sunday, but did not mention the victim’s political connection.

The topic of politicians sending their children abroad to study provokes widespread resentment in China. It is rarely discussed by the tightly controlled press, which seldom comments on the family life of senior officials.

Still, some internet users speculated that the students were wealthy. “Those who can afford to study abroad are either the children of government officials or rich families,” one user said.

“They’re not worthy of sympathy,” another user said.

Others reading English-language reports turned their anger on the students. “Even foreigners can’t bear with the migration of corrupt officials and are punishing them abroad. This is karma,” said a user.

“That a random violent crime abroad has a government official’s child involved again proves there are no clean officials in China,” another wrote.

The attack came on the eve of one of the biggest wine shows in the world, Vinexpo, which is held in the region. China, which is French winemakers’ third biggest market, has increased its participation at the show, with 18 exhibitors expected this year, up from two in 2011.

On Sunday, French Agriculture Minister Stephane Le Foll said France’s image had taken a hit following the “unspeakable act”.

“It’s the image of France which has been dented with these xenophobic attitudes,” Le Foll said, speaking at the inauguration of the wine fair.

Two representatives from the Chinese embassy were due to meet with Le Foll later on Sunday.

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gnowdranoel
The report did not say what triggered the attack. It is assumed that it was a "racist attack" just because they are Chinese. Would there be other reasons? What did they do? I went to France many times over last 20 years I never experienced any agressive behaviour.
kieran.tsao
Over the years, I've come to notice that the stares are actually of being dumbfounded... for most, this will be the first time they have ever seen a white person in the flesh. This is not a negative thing (mostly, I'm sure there are plenty of racists just as I encounter them here) - to them, it's like seeing a movie star.
jayb
i don't understand why chinese are so high on europe. go to any soccer games, you hear racist chants, sometimes even bananas tossed on the pitch to insult black players. just because you ain't black doesn't mean you are spared. if i was a hongkong or chinese person, i would boycott europe. there are lots of beautiful places to spend your hard earned $.
Carparklee
Don't try to find reasons to legitimize violent of any sorts.
jerry4652
The Chinese students must carry out their own outrage behavior in France in which they often do the same behaviors in China.
lucifer
I think the French, like many others, have become fed up with overbaring Mainlanders. In Africa, their investment motives are less subtle, but in France, they are buying up vinyards to supposedly sell wine to China (so they can mix it with Sprite). In no time, you will probably start seeing imported illegal Chinese workers working in French vinyards, picking grapes as in Italy, where they make shoes and clthing witht the made in Italy label. Soon, like all products touched by Mainlanders, the wine quality will become substandard and as will the reputation of French wine....I expect much more of this.
richieskerr
I think Chinese students are more welcome in California where I live, San Francisco, in particular. My own feeling is that the West Coast of the United States feels increasingly strong ties with the Chinese. The history of this relationship has not always been good. Many Chinese laborers were exploited in the past, but they endured and now have a major and well earned stake in West Coast society. Many Americans are of Chinese ancestry, some were born here, others immigrated. The Chinese have a long history related to the West Coast of America extending back to when it was part of the Spanish Empire and even before it was "discovered" by Europeans. I personally think that this relationship will grow between California and China including Hong Kong and Taiwan.
HybridMan
The racist attack on the Chinese students in France is deplorable. I sincerely hope that the incident will cause the Chinese people to reflect on their own display of racism against black people such as Lou Jing. It is true that what goes around comes around.
Hybrid Man
kieran.tsao
If what goes around comes around, why are whites not suffering racism en masse, being abused, enslaved etc? Karma only works when the person writing says so...
heimaogui13
racists, hands cut off,cut off heads... this is full shame on france...SHAME,SHAME ON france !!!

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