A racist abusive message - "Kill Chinese" - and the Nazi symbol of a swastika were found scrawled in the restrooms of an Australian university, triggering fear and anger amongst the Chinese student community.
The message was found written above a swastika on the walls of two male toilets at the University of Sydney. One was found inside the university's International Student Lounge, a common area for both domestic and international students. The same racist graffiti was also reported to have been found inside a Business School building, local SBS news reported.
The university's Student Union shared images of the scrawling on its WeChat account, which is the most popular messaging app in China.
The graffitis were spotted over the weekend and the university immediately condemned the act and said "any and all remnants" would be removed, according to the University of Sydney Union's (USU) Facebook page.
"The USU does not tolerate racism in any of its forms," the post said.
However, it not known yet who was responsible for scribbling the abusive message. But "it appears to be the work of a lone individual," the USU spokesperson told SBS.
"The University of Sydney is committed to ensuring that our community is a safe, inclusive and supportive one," the university said in a statement.
The incident is reported to have made the Chinese student community in Australia feel upset and less secure, according to Poppy Wang, vice-president of the university's Chinese Students Association.
"Most people I talk to feel sad because they come to this country to study, not to be treated like this," she told the BBC. "They really like this country and they do not really want to see this stuff happen."
According to Wang, the university reportedly took two days to remove the graffiti.
"The university is not reacting fast enough," she said.
China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang also responded to the incident, urging the Australian authorities to investigate and handle the issue properly.
"The safety, dignity and legitimate rights and interests of Chinese students in Australia must be protected with concrete efforts," Lu said in a statement on the ministry's website.
The recent incident is reported to be the second such racist abuse targeting Chinese students in Australia.
Earlier last week, posters with racial messages targeting the community were found on the campuses of two Australian universities – Melbourne and Monash.
"Attention, entry into the campus of Chinese students should be strictly prohibited. If violated, you can be deported from the country," the flyer read, according to the BBC.
This incident also prompted an angry response from both the student community and the Chinese ministry.