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Thousands of French Chinese protest in Paris against racist attacks

media A demonstration against attacks on Chinese last month AFP

Several thousand Chinese living in France demonstrated in Paris on Sunday, demanding more security after a rise in attacks on the community, including the murder of a 49-year-old father of two last month.

Waving French flags and wearing T-shirts demanding "Security for all", the crowd packed Paris's Place de la République, shouting "Security! Security! Security!".

Zhang Chaolin, who worked in the textile trade, was murdered by three men trying to steal his companion's bag in Aubervilliers, just north of Paris in August.

His death sparked a protest in the town and led its Communist mayor Meriem Derkaoui and Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve to meet community leaders and promise to beef up the police presence and increase CCTV surveillance.

Anti-Asian racism

Reports to police of muggings against the Chinese community in Aubervilliers have tripled in the last year, from 35 to 105.

Sunday's protests called for action on a national level and for official recognition of "anti-Asian racism".

Organisers accuse the authorities of "closing their eyes to this growing criminality" and claim that "Asians have become the principal target of attackers".

France's ruling Socialist Party issued an official statement backing the demonstration and Paris deputy mayor Bruno Jullard attended, as did Valérie Pécresse, the president of the Ile de France region, who is a member of the right-wing opposition Republicans.

Demonstrations of several thousand took place in the Paris district of Belleville in 2010 and 2011 after a rise in attacks there, including an attack on a wedding party. 

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