Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

A landslide victory for the 'invisible candidate' in Algeria's Presidential polls

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 18 April 2014

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 18 April 2014 (part 2)

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Presidential adviser resigns over "shoe-shine scandal"

Read more

#THE 51%

Breaking stereotypes

Read more

#TECH 24

Galaxy S5 v. HTC One (M8): Which is the right one for you?

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

New PM Manuel Valls outlines priorities

Read more

FASHION

Jean-Marc Loubier, bags and shoes.

Read more

ENCORE!

Hip-hop musician Beat Assailant on mixing the sounds of the city

Read more

  • Freed French journalists arrive home after Syria ordeal

    Read more

  • French journalist tells of release from captivity in Syria

    Read more

  • Divers begin pulling bodies from sunken South Korean ferry

    Read more

  • Syria’s Assad visits recaptured Christian town at Easter

    Read more

  • UK’s Hamilton cruises to victory at Chinese Grand Prix

    Read more

  • ‘Deadly clashes’ at Eastern Ukraine checkpoint

    Read more

  • In pictures: French kite festival takes flight

    Read more

  • Militants kill Algerian soldiers in deadly ambush

    Read more

  • Scores killed in South Sudan cattle raid

    Read more

  • PSG clinch fourth League Cup title after beating Lyon

    Read more

  • Le Pen’s National Front fail to woo Britain’s Eurosceptics

    Read more

  • VIDEO: Anti-Semitic leaflets in Eastern Ukraine condemned

    Read more

  • In pictures: Good Friday celebrated across the globe

    Read more

  • Bouteflika, the ghost president

    Read more

  • Does Valls’ upcoming Vatican trip violate French secularism?

    Read more

  • Ukraine separatists say ‘not bound’ by Geneva deal

    Read more

  • Abel Ferrara’s hotly awaited DSK film to premiere on web

    Read more

  • Obama signs bill to block controversial Iran diplomat from UN post

    Read more

  • Astronomers discover Earth-like planet that could support life

    Read more

  • Indian election: Votes for sale

    Read more

  • In pictures: Iranian woman pardons son’s killer at the gallows

    Read more

  • West African Ebola outbreak caused by new strain of virus

    Read more

Asia-pacific

Beijing condemns ‘racist’ attack on Bordeaux wine students

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-08-08

An attack by a drunken gang on six Chinese students studying the French art of winemaking in Bordeaux has been condemned by Chinese authorities, who have demanded that France brings the perpetrators swiftly to justice.

A violent attack on a group of Chinese students in the Bordeaux wine-growing region at the weekend risked becoming an international dispute on Monday, as Beijing demanded that French authorities guarantee the safety of its citizens.

The six students, in their early 20s and taking a course in oenology (winemaking) at the Château la Tour Blanche vineyard, were set upon by three alleged attackers at their residence in the early hours of Saturday.

One Chinese woman, aged 24, was hit in the face with a glass bottle and hospitalised.

Police said the trio had been drinking heavily from the early afternoon on Friday. In custody on Sunday, they claimed they had no memory of the events.

‘Unspeakable act’

French agriculture minister Stephane Le Foll condemned the attack on Sunday, saying that France’s image had been sullied in China, the third-biggest market for French wines.

“It's an unspeakable act,” Le Foll said at the opening of the Vinexpo in Bordeaux, one of the world's biggest wine fairs, adding that the alleged attackers had hurled racist insults at their victims.

"The image of France has been dented with these xenophobic attitudes," Le Foll added.

The attack generated immediate criticism of France on Chinese social networking sites, while China’s foreign ministry addressed the attacks at a regular news briefing on Monday.

“China expresses strong condemnation against the violent attacks against the Chinese students,” said a Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “The Chinese foreign minister and embassy in France take the issue seriously and the embassy sent staff to the site to assist Chinese students attacked.

“China has sent a representative to France to ask it to handle the case properly, bring the perpetrators to justice, and take effective measures to protect the safety and rights of Chinese in France.”

Tit-for-tat trade war

The attack on Chinese nationals comes amid growing tensions between France and China, with the focus very much on the issue of French wine.

China is an important market for French wine, which accounts for some 48% of Chinese imports - far higher than for Australian, New Zealand or other “New World” produce.

This status came under threat earlier this month when Beijing launched an anti-dumping probe into European wine imports in response to calls, led by France, to impose duties on Chinese-made solar panels that are threatening to undermine the European solar industry.

Despite the growing taste for French wine in China, many importers fear that the probe could result in significant import duties being slapped on French wines, a move that could put significant pressure on sales.

Increased Chinese presence in Bordeaux

Meanwhile, Chinese acquisition of Bordeaux vineyards continues apace.

In November 2012 a Chinese industrialist bought the Chateau Bellefort-Belcier, the first of the prestigious “Grand Cru” class to be acquired by Chinese investors in the region.

To date, the Chinese influence in Bordeaux has not been overly controversial in a wine-growing region that has a long tradition of foreign ownership of wine estates.

But according to one Chinese national who travelled to Bordeaux to study the French art of winemaking, the growing presence of her fellow nationals is becoming an increasingly touchy subject.

“The French think chateaux and terroir are part of their patrimony,” 27-year-old Lu Qingqing told the Wall Street Journal on Sunday. “And when Chinese people come and buy the wines and vineyards, they think ‘We don’t have any more for ourselves’.”

“It will take time for both to understand,” she added. “It’s the French who sell and the Chinese who buy, and it’s not like the French aren’t benefiting.”

Date created : 2013-06-17

  • FRANCE

    Will France embrace ‘quality’ wine in a can?

    Read more

  • EU-CHINA

    Angered by EU solar duties, China probes wine imports

    Read more

  • CHINA - FRANCE

    China recognises that not all bubbly is Champagne

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)