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Attack on Chinese students overshadows Vinexpo opening

Stéphane le Foll, French agicultral minister, called an attack on six Chinese students, on the eve of the Vinexpo opening, 'inadmissable' and 'xenophobic'.

Picture: Stéphane le Foll condemned the attack at opening press conference

The attack came in the early hours of Saturday morning, on six Chinese oenology students studying at Chateau La Tour Blanche in Sauternes.

They were in their apartment, in the village of Hostens when a small group of French men who had earlier received a warning from police to quieten down a party forced their way in.

One student was taken to hospital with facial injuries from a bottle being thown at her.

The attack is assumed to have been because the men believed the Chinese students had reported the party to the police.

Speaking at the opening of Vinexpo, Le Foll condemned the attack, joining demands from the Chinese embassy in Paris to bring the perpetrators to justice to ensure the safety of Chinese students in the country.

The timing is particularly unfortunate as the wine industry focuses its attention on Bordeaux for the 17th edition of Vinexpo, the biennial fair started in 1990 by the Bordeaux Chamber of Commerce, and now grown to the world’s largest wine trade fair, with 2400 exhibitors and 46,000 visitors from 120 countries.

Written by Jane Anson in Bordeaux

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