As relations between Australia and China continue to worsen, the latter is warning its students to avoid travelling to Australia amid COVID-19 pandemic due to “serious threats” to their safety.
On Friday, the Chinese Ministry of Education issued a warning which highlighted “successive vicious incidents” of Chinese students attacked in many places across Australia, but did not give any example, Erudera College News reports.
A similar alert was delivered in June, through which the ministry called on students to take into consideration the possible risks of pursuing studies in Australia, referring to pandemic’s impact in racial discrimination against Asian people.
Pointing out that it is risky to travel amid pandemic, the ministry advised students to carry out safety risks evaluations, as well as to be careful when choosing to go or return to Australia for their education.
The relations between the two countries began worsening after the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison urged for an international inquiry regarding the Coronavirus origins without consulting Beijing.
In addition, Canberra accused Beijing of neglecting human right violations, in particular in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, starting from forced labour to genocide.
During November, a list of 14 complaints against Australia was released by China, including Canberra’s rejection of Chinese investments and the reporting of media referred as “antagonistic”, claiming that the latter has contributed to worsening the bilateral relations between the two countries.
This week, the Australian government confirmed it was ready to start rebuilding the diplomatic relations, yet the Chinese state media accused the Australian Prime Minister Morrison of being “disingenuous” in his comments on repairing ties between Australia and China.
The relations between the two countries have also become tense during the past year with Beijing undertaking several actions on Australian beef, barley, wine, coal and cotton.
In the meantime, international students aiming to pursue higher education in China for months now have not been allowed to enter the country, left stranded overseas due to COVID-19 developments without any feedback about their situation. According to students, there is a lack of communication with authorities in China to solve this issue.