Monday , July 13 2020
Home / World News / China warns students about travelling to Australia

China warns students about travelling to Australia

Education Minister Dan Tehan said Australia respected international students, regardless of their race, religion, ethnicity or sexuality.

Loading

“Our success at flattening the curve means we are one of the safest countries in the world for international students to be based in right now,” he said.

The warning from Beijing is the second intervention from the Chinese government in the past week after it urged tourists to reconsider travelling to Australia due to “an alarming increase” in racial discrimination and violence during the pandemic.

The claim was rejected by Trade Minister Simon Birmingham on Sunday as having no “basis in fact”. He argued Australia was “the most successful multicultural and migrant society in the world”.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry has accused Australia of suspicion, recrimination and division since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. Beijing launched trade strikes on $1 billion worth of beef and barley in April after Australia lobbied for an independent inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus.

The foreign ministry has maintained the two issues are unrelated. Its spokeswoman, Hua Chunying, said on Monday that the travel alert for tourists came with “full evidence”, citing Australian media reports of increased discrimination.

“The Chinese government has been responsible in reminding Chinese citizens to make proper travel plans and protect themselves from harm,” she said. “We also advise the Australian side to pay attention to the problems and take concrete measures to protect the security, rights and interests of Chinese nationals in Australia.”

International Education Association chief executive Phil Honeywood said it was too early to say if the advice would devastate the sector in Australia.

“I think calm heads will prevail as they have done with previous issues like this,” Mr Honeywood said.

“By word of mouth, Chinese families know that Australia is a safe and welcoming study destination country, our international education sector is confident that at a ministerial level this current bilaterial challenge between our countries will be resolved.”

Vicki Thomson, chief executive of the Australian universities’ Group of Eight, said the group was absolutely committed to international students and to maintaining a collaborative relationship with China, but said the statement from the education ministry was disappointing.

“Statements such as this do make things more difficult at an already difficult time,” she said.

“We know students will do their own research about our health and safety as it relates to them — as they should — and we look forward to being able to welcome them back to our campuses as soon as the Australian government’s health advice indicates that we can.”

with Rachel Eddie

Most Viewed in World

Loading

About admin

Check Also

Rundown of China’s spy agencies will make uncomfortable reading for some

But there are other reasons, too. Penetrating the veil of the Chinese language is hard. …