First China warned its citizens from traveling to Australia, this time they cautioned Chinese students to reconsider returning and evaluating the risks of studying in Australia, said BBC.

China is citing the coronavirus pandemic and a “significant increase” in racist attacks on Asian people in Australia for issuing the warning.

The Chinese Education Ministry said, “The spread of the new global Covid-19 outbreak has not been effectively controlled, and there are risks in international travel and open campuses.”

Australian universities will reopen in July.

“During the epidemic, there were multiple discriminatory incidents against Asians in Australia,” it added.

According to CNN, a coalition of Australia’s leading universities called China’s advisory “unjustified”. The Group of Eight said they had asked the Chinese embassy in Australia for examples of racism, which were not provided.

Vicki Thomson, chief executive of The Group of Eight said, “It is concerning that yet again, international education, and particularly with China, is yet again the pawn in a political game that is not of our making.”

These advisory marks the latest escalation in tensions between China and Australia during the coronavirus pandemic said the CNN report.

Relations worsened after Australia echoed the US in calling for an independent inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus.

The virus was first detected in China late last year.

Education and tourism are Australia’s third and fourth biggest exports overall, and significant contributors to the economy.

According to the government, students from China represented 28% of 750,000 international students in Australia last year.

For his part, Australia’s Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham said China’s assertions about the dangers to tourists had “no basis in fact”.

However, there were reports that Australia’s universities have long been accused by researchers of not providing better support to international students.

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