Australia's Chinese, Asian communities targets of racism

Some face vitriol amid coronavirus outbreak that originated in China

People wearing face masks at Flinders Street Station after cases of the coronavirus were confirmed in Melbourne. Australia's population of about 25 million includes more than 1.2 million people of Chinese heritage.
People wearing face masks at Flinders Street Station after cases of the coronavirus were confirmed in Melbourne. Australia's population of about 25 million includes more than 1.2 million people of Chinese heritage.PHOTO: REUTERS

The coronavirus outbreak has taken a toll on Australia's Chinese community, including a loss of trade at Chinese restaurants and stores as well as increased reports of racism.

Since the outbreak of the virus, which originated in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, there have been growing reports of members of the Chinese-Australian community - and the Asian-Australian community - being subjected to vitriol or racist slurs.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 10, 2020, with the headline 'Australia's Chinese, Asian communities targets of racism'. Print Edition | Subscribe