Six Chinese students in France attacked in 'xenophobic' act

BORDEAUX (AFP) - Six Chinese oenology students were attacked in the early hours of Saturday in France's wine-producing southwest region of Bordeaux, the interior ministry said, describing the violence as an act of xenophobia.

The students, who had arrived in France only two months ago, were "violently attacked" by three locals who were visibly drunk and previously known to the police, a ministry statement said.

A female student was seriously hurt in the face by a glass bottle which was thrown at her.

Two of the attackers have been detained and are now in police custody.

Interior Minister Manuel Valls condemned "severely this xenophobic act, for which the culprits must answer to before justice".

The students were meant to be studying in France for a year.

The attack came on the eve of one of the biggest wine shows in the world, Vinexpo, which is held in the region. China, which is French winemakers' third biggest market, has increased its participation at the show, with 18 exhibitors expected this year, up from two in 2011.

Chinese investors have begun buying up vineyards in Bordeaux, not always to the pleasure of locals.

French winemakers have recently also sounded the alarm over an anti-dumping probe launched by Beijing into wine imports from the European Union, in an apparent retaliation act over Brussels' decision to slap tariffs on Chinese solar panel imports.

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