Friday, 8 August 2008

Asian students plagued by crime

"It may be safer in China" [propaganda] from Sydney Morning Herald and … Xiao Lei Zhang], a doctoral student, lost her laptop, hard drive and camera in a burglary at her Malabar home.

[I didn't know that Xiao Lei Zhang and the Sydney Morning Herald worked for China did you? It wouldn't be the day of the opening of the Olympics in a place like China described as despotic human rights abusers who up until late sold body parts including the hearts of prisoners on death row and those who don't agree with China's police state - amongst many other human rights abuses. This article released today by the SMH shows quite clearly the lengths that China has infiltrated Australia and I refer to specifically this article by Democracy Now! American Foreign Policy Brought to You by China: Advisers to Obama, McCain Tied to US Multinationals that Profit from Beijing.]

[Yes there is a problem with Asian Students who need to be street wise and have proper security probably more so because of the cross cultural issues but why not release the article yesterday? Or even the day after? Why particularly on the eve of the Olympics? Just a coincident? Ah shucks! No it would never ever be safer in China if the doctoral student was refering to Australia. Her and her Chinese consulate? Better get their facts right or they simply aren't learning very much at all since they've been here!!!]

[TODAY?] THE Chinese consulate in Sydney has asked authorities to provide better protection for students after receiving reports of a high number of robberies and assaults.

More than 180,000 international students studied in NSW last year, and Chinese overseas students make up the largest group at most universities.

In response to student complaints about crime, the consulate conducted a survey of 100 students in June. It found more than one in four had been a victim of crime, 20 had been burgled at home and six had been robbed, several at knifepoint.

More than 150 newly arrived overseas Chinese students attended a security seminar at Parliament House last Friday. Representatives of the NSW Government, the Education and Immigration departments and the police sought to reassure them and journalists from the main Chinese news agencies that the situation was under control.

The deputy president of the Legislative Council, Amanda Fazio, told the students Sydney was largely safe, although they should avoid the George Street cinema strip on Friday and Saturday nights, and should not borrow from loan sharks.

However, the Sydney officials' efforts were undermined by Zhou Bo, the Chinese education consul, who gave the students a long list of nasty incidents involving overseas students, from murder and assault to a drowning in the sea.

He told of a student in Burwood robbed four times and a western Sydney student killed in her house while she was on the internet. By the time he had finished, the initial nervous giggles had turned to gasps of fright.

One 26-year-old master's student, who asked not to be named, later told how he was accosted by teenagers asking for money in Mascot in May last year. He couldn't understand them, and before he knew it he was being bashed. He spent four hours at the hospital getting stitches.

"Before I came to Australia, my impression was it was quite safe, but after this thing happened, I heard lots of terrible stories," he said.

Xiao Lei Zhang, a 24-year-old doctoral student who was burgled at home, losing her laptop, hard drive and camera, felt there was too little warning of the dangers in Sydney. "It's not safe here - it may be safer in China," she said.

Suren Gunatillake, an Australian who is creating a website in Shanghai for prospective overseas students, said crime against Chinese students seemed quite common. He interviewed eight students at the University of NSW last week for a web feature on security in Sydney.

"There have been some interesting security incidents, but students don't talk about them, that's the issue. Something will happen, they don't mention it, don't report it … I met a guy today who was robbed at knifepoint but didn't tell anyone," he said.

He said he could not gauge whether overseas Chinese students were being targeted, "but the fact they are not reporting it means they are being very passive about it".

Mr Zhou said the situation was serious and the consulate wanted the Government to improve students' safety.


Athletes' letter condemns China on rights
Forty athletes taking part in the games have written an open letter to Chinese President Hu Jintao, expressing their concerns about Tibet. The signatories to the letter, which was sent to the International Herald Tribune newspaper, include Cuban hurdler Dayron Robles, Croatian world high jump champion Blanka Vlasic, and US 400 metres runner DeeDee Trotter.

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