Six Chinese oenology students were attacked June 14 in Bordeaux, France, causing international tension between France and China, notably with the Sino-French wine trade.
The six students were in France to study wine-making at the Château la Tour Blanche vineyard. The attack reportedly occurred at their residence in Hostens, when three drunken men shouted racial slurs at them.
One woman, 24 years old, was hospitalized after being struck in the face with a bottle. On Sunday it was reported her condition was stable.
The three men have been indicted on hate crime charges and are in police custody. The night of the attack, they admit they had drank one too many and don’t remember the events that transpired.
The Chinese embassy in Paris quickly responded to the situation, urging France to “investigate the case swiftly, to bring the perpetrators to justice, and to take relevant action to ensure the safety of Chinese students.”
In response, the French Minister of the Interior Manuel Valls labeled the attack “xenbophobic,” listing the slurs that were supposedly shouted during the assault.
“It’s the image of France that suffers because of these xenophobic attitudes. I have full confidence...that justice will be swiftly meted out,” Agriculture minister Stéphane le Foll told La Jeune Politique.
China is one of the biggest consumers of French wine with 48 percent of imported vintages importing from France. It is also the leading overseas consumer of Bordeaux wines.