The Chinese Foreign Ministry has registered its concern regarding increasing acts of discrimination against people of Chinese ethnicity and other Asians in Australia over the last year, calling on Canberra to address the problem.
Speaking on Wednesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said that Beijing was aware of the plight of Chinese and Asian people living in Australia.
“For a period of time, discrimination against Asians including Chinese and overseas Chinese has emerged one after another in Australia, which has seriously threatened the personal safety and legal rights of Chinese citizens in Australia. We are deeply concerned about this,” Wang stated.
The spokesman said that the Chinese government has repeatedly warned Chinese citizens and students in Australia about the risks to their safety and has advised them to take precautions.
Wang concluded by calling on Canberra to protect the safety and legitimate rights of Chinese citizens in Australia. “We hope that the Australian side will face the problem squarely, take practical measures to strengthen the education of its citizens, solve its own domestic problems of racism and discrimination,” he added.
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Wang’s comments were provoked by a journalist who cited research by the Lowy Institute, an Australian think tank. The research suggested that 37 percent of Chinese Australians said they were treated differently or less favorably because of their heritage while 18 percent reported being physically threatened or attacked in the last year.
The pandemic and its alleged origins in China was considered a contributing factor by two-thirds of respondents, while 52 percent cited deteriorating diplomatic tensions between the two nations which starting spiraling last year when Canberra called for an independent inquiry into the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic.
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