“Australia is a safe environment for international students and visitors from all over the world, including China”，Dr Ting CHEN，Chung Wah Association President, told SBS Mandarin.
After the Federal Cabinet meeting last Friday (12th of June), Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that Some international students could be allowed to return to Australia on a "pilot basis" as early as next month.
Previously, the Chinese Ministry of Culture and Tourism had advised citizens to avoid travelling to Australia and the Chinese Ministry of Education had warned overseas students to study in Australia with caution, due to a "significant increase" racist attacks on "Chinese and Asian people" in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, discrimination against Asian and Chinese background people in Australia has always attracted media attention. During the period, Mr Ting Chen, the president of the Chung Wah Association, always opposed discrimination that happend in Western Australia. However, Mr Chen believes WA is a safe environment for international students and visitors from all over the world, including China.
Mr chen told SBS Mandarin:"Living in Australia, we have a better understanding of the local situation. While Covid-19 has caused an increase in discrimination against Asians, they are isolated incidents."
"A decrease of international students and visitors from China will be definitely cause an economic impact at the state level, which will flow onto local business and impact on the Chinese community. We greatly value the diversity and vibrancy that international students and visitors add to our society."
He said that Australia’s channels to resist racial discrimination are clear and unblocked.
"When a racist incident was first brought to the attention of the Chung Wah Association, we liaised directly with the WA Police Department, Office of Multicultural Interests and Department of Home Affairs to find a solution. We also initiated a meeting between the Race Discrimination Commissioner, Mr Chin Tan of the Australian Human Rights Commission and members of the local Chinese Community to discuss this important issue. As the peak body representing the Chinese community in WA, we are in constant communication with the relevant authorities and are well-positioned to support those who come encounter racism."
Mr Ting Chen told SBS Mandarin that Australia is a safe and welcomes international students and visitors from all over the world.
"It is safe to study and live here. In my 25 years of living here, I have found the majority of Western Australians to be welcoming and friendly. This is a multicultural society. From the onset of the pandemic, the Chinese community has supported Chinese International students by donating masks and other essentials to them. We will continue to support international students and visitors coming to Western Australia."
Please read the full report in Chinese.