The Chinese Foreign Ministry and China's embassy and consulates in Australia have lodged solemn representations with Australia over its recent repatriation of Chinese students, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said on Tuesday.
Spokesperson Wang Wenbin made the remarks in response to a question about a Chinese student travelling to Australia who was interrogated and repatriated.
Recently, Australian border law-enforcement officers have conducted gratuitous searches several times on Chinese students entering Sydney. They searched through those students' mobile phones and personal belongings, and refused their entry and cancelled their visa, accusing them of "hiding military training experience," Wang said.
They identified training organized by Chinese colleges as "military training," Wang noted.
The Chinese embassy and consulates in Australia have provided immediate consular assistance to the students, according to Wang. China will firmly safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese students in Australia, Wang noted.
What Australia has done runs counter to the mutually beneficial nature of people-to-people exchanges between the two countries. China urged Australia to stop harming others and create a sound atmosphere and necessary conditions for cultural and educational exchanges and cooperation.