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  • Jul 24, 2014
  • Updated: 10:24am
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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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donniemcm
Just read some french papers and actually they were completed vasted.
Though as you may know, alcohol helps to untie your tongue. It is just showing what they really thinks of them when they are not inhibited.
kieran.tsao
"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.
ejmciii
Because one challenges the Mainland government does not mean that one does not like Chinese people. The masters in Beijing may want to believe they define what is Chinese but they do not. They are just a twisted group who will use any device to achieve their means.

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