CHINA warns of racism in Australia : Beijing warned Monday there has been ''a lot of discrimination'' against Chinese people in Australia, escalatting a diplomatic row just days after telling its citizens not to travel there.

Tensions between Australia and China have been mounting on a number of fronts, and Beijing reacted with fury to recent calls for an independent investigation into the origins and spread of the coronavirus pandemic after it first emerged in Central China late last year.

China stepped up the war of words again last week by telling its citizens to avoid the country altogether over safety concerns.

''Recently, there has been a lot of discrimination against Chinese and Asian people in Australia,'' said foreign ministry spokewoman Hua Chunying.

''Many Chinese in Australia have been insulted or even injured....... [and] graffiti or words with racist connotations against Chinese have appeared in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and other Australian cities.''

On Friday, China's Culture and Tourism Ministry had advised against travel to Australia due to increasing criticism linked to the coronavirus

Since Australian borders are closed to all non-essential travelers - with no date set for them to reopen - the advice from Beijing is largely symbolic. [AFP]


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