12:25 GMT +318 July 2019
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    A member of the Chinese commmunity arranges a display of flowers besides a photograph of slain Chinese tailor Zhang Chaolin during a candlelight vigil in Aubervilliers on August 7, 2017, on the first anniversary of the fatal mugging of the Chinese tailor. Chinese tailor Zhang Chaolin, aged 49, was assaulted by three men in the streets in Aubervilliers on August 7, 2016 and died 5 days later from a coma.

    Filmmaker Explains Why Chinese Migrants Still Feel Unsafe in France

    © AFP 2019 / PHILIPPE LOPEZ
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    In August 2016, Chinese tailor Zhang Chaolin died in a hospital after he was attacked by three teenage muggers in the predominantly African Muslim north Paris suburb of Aubervilliers. The 49-year-old was part of the Chinese diaspora in France, which numbers more than 600,000 people and is believed to be Europe's largest Chinese community.

    In an interview with Sputnik, Kevin Te, a young filmmaker of Sino-Cambodian origin, said that in his soon-to-be-released short movie "Des milliers de chansons" (Thousands of Songs), he tried to focus on safety problems that threaten the Chinese diaspora in France. 

    Te explained that the film, which was released almost two years after the killing of the Chinese man near Paris, is based on what he "has seen or heard since childhood", including a series of assaults on Chinese woman in the Vitry-sur-Seine commune of Paris.

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    He also bemoaned the fact two years after the death of Zhang, the security situation in the Paris suburbs has still not changed.

    "In the suburbs, the Asian [Chinese] diaspora is still a target. This, in particular, can be explained by the nature of French society, which is based on strength. The Asian diaspora does not raise much noise so the authorities prefer to pay less attention to its problems," Te pointed out.

    He added that he also wanted to make the film in order to "talk about how the Chinese diaspora is represented in France."

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    "Racism against Asians still persists in France, something that is tolerated and accepted by these people themselves," Te stressed.

    In this vein, he blamed members of the Chinese diaspora for failing to be more open to "the outside world", which Te said fuels unfriendly stereotypes and prejudices.

    When asked on how the situation can be improved, he pointed to the younger generation of Asians, who are born in France.

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    "The second generation of migrants is getting down to business indeed. They are more integrated into French society, and they succeeded more in understanding its rules. They are more inclined to express their displeasure as compared with their parents. The French of Asian descent from the second generation of migrants, like me, will be able to gradually change the situation [for the better]," Te emphasized.

    He noted that despite the fact that most of those who organized and attended protest rallies following Zhang's killing were born in France, "Asians are, in fact, absent in such important fields [in the country] as politics, culture or media."

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    His interview came a few weeks after French President Emmanuel Macron claimed that "Europe is not experiencing a migration crisis of the same magnitude as the one it experienced in 2015."

    Earlier, Macron called for establishing the so-called "controlled centers" in Europe to place migrants after their arrival by sea.

    The EU is still grappling with a massive refugee deadlock, with hundreds of thousands of people leaving conflict-torn countries in the Middle East and North Africa to escape violence and poverty and seeking asylum in Europe.

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    attacks, society, film, authorities, diaspora, migrants, Zhang Chaolin, France
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