Chinese students in Germany becoming more vigilant

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-08-07 16:55


Chen Cheng said the case indeed caused panic to some extent among Chinese students in Germany. Many Chinese girls he knew bought pepper sprays and whistles upon hearing the horrifying case.

Yang Xiaojuan quitted jogging after she heard the news, instead went only to gym for exercises ever since.

Li's case was followed by a similar case this year in the United States. Zhang Yingying, a female Chinese visiting scholar at the U.S. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), was last seen entering a black Saturn Astra car driven by a 28-year-old white man in June. Zhang, 26, was presumed deceased by the FBI. The case sent a renewed shock wave to Chinese overseas students.

Chen Cheng said, following the two cases, Chinese students became more vigilant, and their parents back home were also worried about their safety.

According to a report by the Center for China and Globalization, a Beijing-based think-tank, a total of 1.26 million Chinese students, or one-fourth of international students all over the world, were studying abroad in 2015. The figure was expected to rise further.

The Chinese Embassy in Germany estimated that there are about 50,000 Chinese scholars and students in Germany.

"Raising safety awareness of Chinese scholars and students has topped our working agenda", said Fang Qiang, first secretary of education division of Chinese Embassy in Germany, adding they organise public education sessions on personal safety each year as part of the orientation for new comers.

On the other hand, he also wanted students and parents to understand that cases like Li's was extremely rare in Germany.

To Lu Xiaozheng, the same degree of sense of security as in China is elusive because after all, "it is an unfamiliar environment," but she gave her advice to those who consider studying overseas, "Don't give up your plan for safety concern, but higher vigilance is needed."

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