Chinese students react with great emotion if they feel China is being criticised. There’s concern that this erodes freedom of speech on Australian campuses
The recently released Chinese student’s recording of the argument he has with his teacher about using the word “Taiwan” illustrates how issues of sovereignty and territoriality can be very emotional for Chinese students.
In the video, the Chinese student says, in a calm voice: “You have to consider all the students … Chinese students are one third of this classroom. You make us feel uncomfortable.” He goes on to argue, “You have to show your respect.” The discussion becomes somewhat unclear, but it sounds like the student then says, “It really makes us feel terrible.” His next comment sounds like he is getting frustrated and upset: “Why do you always keep saying that? ‘Taiwan!’ As if it is a separate country.”