Chinese teenager injured in ‘racially motivated’ attack in New Zealand

Chinese teenager injured in ‘racially motivated’ attack in New Zealand

A Chinese teenager was injured in a “racially motivated” attack in New Zealand, the Chinese embassy said and urged Auckland police to investigate the incident.

The 16-year-old schoolboy was travelling by bus to Auckland City when he was attacked by a woman with a metal bar on Friday, police said on Monday.

Acting detective senior sergeant James Mapp said the “unprovoked assault” left the teenager with serious facial injuries.

The victim told the New Zealand Herald the woman started “verbally abusing me and then immediately started to physically abuse me”.

The teenager, who has been living in the country with his family for about seven years, was travelling to play basketball with his friends.

The woman yelled racial slurs at him and attacked him with a metal rod, the teenager said, adding that he lost three teeth and began bleeding from his mouth.

He said only one fellow passenger named Gleen Zhang, 75, intervened to stop the attack, RNZ reported.

The woman got off the bus at the next stop. Police suspect she’s a Maori woman in her 40s and they are on the lookout for her. It is not known why the woman attacked the teenager.

“The offender alighted from the bus prior to police arrival,” Mr Mapp said. “We understand the fear and concern events like this inflict on the community and we will continue to pursue every lead to hold this person to account.”

He said police have “no tolerance for this type of crime or intimidation”.

“We are also providing support to the victim and want to reassure the community that we are working hard to locate the person responsible.”

The attack on the bus came days after a Chinese activist carrying the Taiwanese flag was heckled by a group of people who were gathered to welcome Chinese premier Li Qiang.

Taiwan’s representative to New Zealand said they were “alarmed” and called for an investigation.

Mr Li arrived in Wellington on 13 June and pledged to renew China’s “traditional friendship” with New Zealand, suggesting opportunities to bolster trade, tourism and investment.

In June last year, a man wielding an axe entered three Chinese restaurants in Auckland and injured four people, local media reported at the time. He stormed into Zhangliang Malatang, Yues Dumpling Kitchen and Maya Hotpot and started randomly attacking people with an axe around 9 pm.