• Wed
  • Jul 23, 2014
  • Updated: 8:50am

'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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This article is now closed to comments

"It didn't happen to me, so obviously they were at fault if it happened to them!!!"
You are pathetic, and a good example of how the Chinese people need to get their act together. Stop thinking for yourself, think about others. Target the perpetrators, not the victims.
You may have been a tourist of a white country, sticking to the prescribed routes. But I'll use me as an example. I was born and bred in a white country, I do what all law abiding whites do - walk, eat, socialise, work, sleep..... over my life I have been racially assaulted 5 times (how did I know it was racist? Do you know what c hink means?), discriminated against several times in the workplace (do this because you'e Chinese, of that nature) and the number of times I have been verbally assaulted in the street - just minding my own business - are countless.
So tell me, what did I do wrong, what other reasons were there for inciting people to be racist?
Get a clue. People who are racist don't need a reason other than the fact you're not white.
Mary M
Every country has mindless, unconscious, mean-spirited **** with no sense of right and wrong. This attack makes me sick to my stomach. My area here in the US has quite a few Chinese. I was in China in October and most people were very kind to me (although I had lots of stares. :). I hope they put them away and throw away the keys.
The idea that some lives matter less is the root of all that's wrong with the world.
Paul Farmer
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.
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
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...
Every country has racist people. I challenge anyone to name a country with no racists.
ethnic Chinese are their own worst enemy. The comments of "oh they're rich, they're not worthy of sympathy" and "foreigners don't like the children of corrupt officials".... how stupid are they? Do they really think whites specifically distinguish between ethnic Chinese of government families? No, if an attack is racist then all they care is that they are Chinese.... that's what racism is. It affects all Chinese, these ignorant commenters above would be wise to read on the countless stories of ethnic Chinese being assaulted or killed.... whether they are born in France, "The west" or from China...
also there are mentions that the attackers are muslim... i doubt another minority in France are capable of understanding the political intricacies of white French vinyards being bought out,
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.
As a European I strongly condemn what those "French" people did. There are no excuses. As for the wine business, you also talk besides the point. Many (rich) Chinese buy up the castles, and also companies, mainly to be 100% sure they have genuine French wine: they export most to China for their own use, not trusting other "imports" on the local market.




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