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Visiting France

French men jailed for attack on Chinese wine students

media The victims were studying oenology in Bordeaux Pierre Andrieu/AFP

In France three men aged 21-23 have been jailed and fined for attacking a group of Chinese exchange students last year. The attacks came at a time of tension between Paris and Beijing and elicited strong reactions from both countries.

The six Chinese students were studying oenology in the Bordeaux winegrowing region when they were attacked in June 2013.

Fuelled by alcohol and shouting racist insults, the three men broke into the apartment where the students were living and attacked them.

One female student had to undergo surgery after one of the men throw a glass bottle at her face.

Court sources said on Wednesday that the men were sentenced to 16 months to two years in prison, on top of suspended sentences and fines from 500-5,000 euros.

The attack sparked strong reactions from French and Chinese authorities at a time when tensions were high over trade relations.

Beijing expressed concern over violence against Chinese citizens in France, including students as well as tourists targeted by groups of thieves.

For its part, the French government condemned what it called xenophobic violence that hurt the country's image.

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