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Fear grips students in Australia

[ 2009-08-26 14:27]     字号 [] [] []  
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Chinese students in Australia are scared for their safety following a string of disappearances and murders involving Asians in the country.

Jia Li, 29, a University of Sydney student, said young Chinese were staying away from late-night events and avoiding walking alone.

"I don't go out at night and ask friends to accompany me after night courses. I avoid the back seats in buses. I tell my boyfriend before I go somewhere and my classmates also tell friends about their whereabouts," Jia told China Daily.

Police are investigating a number of disappearances and murders involving members of the Chinese community in recent months. These include 18-year-old student Xing Chaojin, whose shoes and backpack were found on Sydney's iconic Bondi Beach on June 2.

Last month, four members of a Chinese family were bludgeoned to death in their Sydney home. And police are investigating the discovery of the body of a 27-year-old Chinese man missing since March. Investigators believe he was murdered.

New South Wales Asian Crime Squad commander Jon Alt said Chinese were not being targeted on ethnicity.

"There is no information to date to suggest there is any link between these crimes," Alt said.

Anthony Pun, president of the Chinese Community Council of Australia, also said recent attacks on Chinese were not racially motivated. Such reassurances haven't calmed people's nerves, however.

Jasmine Wang, a Chinese University of Sydney student, said she and her classmates had become more careful.

"My classmates don't dare leave their homes when it gets dark. I've never felt this unsafe in China," said Wang.

About 120,000 Chinese students study in Australia. The country's A$15.5-billion international education market is its third-largest export industry.

In Beijing, overseas study agencies say parents are concerned about security in Australia, but there has been no decrease in interest in studying at the country's universities.

"What happened in Australia is a reminder. In July, we set up two-day workshops and a one-week training session teaching students how to deal with emergency issues in foreign countries," said Sha He, who is with Welltrend, an overseas study agent.

A spokesperson for Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard said the Australian government is working to ensure the safety of international students.

"Despite a small number of recent attacks, Australia remains one of the safest countries in the world for international students to come and study. Most students go about their day-to-day business safely," the spokesperson said.

Next Wednesday, thousands of students are expected to march through the streets of Sydney and Melbourne in protest over a number of issues, including student safety.

Liu Yinghui, former president of the Chinese students association at the University of Sydney, said the march is not an effective solution to the problems. "Schools should set up safety centers based on ethnicity to provide support to students."


1. What are the two crimes mentioned in the story involving Chinese?

2. How many Chinese students at present study in Australia?


1. First the case of an 18 year old student who has gone missing, second is the case of a family of four who were killed in their home.

2. 120,000

Fear grips students in Australia

Fear grips students in AustraliaBrendan joined The China Daily in 2007 as a language polisher in the Language Tips Department, where he writes a regular column for Chinese English Language learners, reads audio news for listeners and anchors the weekly video news in addition to assisting with on location stories. Elsewhere he writes Op'Ed pieces with a China focus that feature in the Daily's Website opinion section.

He received his B.A. and Post Grad Dip from Curtin University in 1997 and his Masters in Community Development and Management from Charles Darwin University in 2003. He has taught in Japan, England, Australia and most recently China. His articles have featured in the Bangkok Post, The Taipei Times, The Asia News Network and in-flight magazines.