‘You have made our life better and beautiful’: Touching letter from Chinese students to Bob Hawke emerges thanking the former PM for allowing to stay in Australia
- Chinese students paid tribute and thanked Bob Hawke in a letter which emerged
- The former prime minister allowed 40,000 students to stay in Australia in 1989
- He extended visiting permits and visas following Tiananmen Square massacre
A touching letter from four Chinese students has emerged thanking Bob Hawke for allowing them to stay in Australia.
The note and flowers paid tribute to the former Prime Minister, who allowed 40,000 students to stay in the country following the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre.
Mr Hawke, who died just two weeks before the 30th anniversary of the devastating event on June, 4, extended temporary permits and granted many Chinese citizens permanent visas.
A touching letter from four Chinese students thanking Bob Hawke for allowing them to stay in Australia has emerged
The letter read: ‘Dear Bob, thank you for give[ing] new life to me and 40,000 Chinese students stayed [sic] in Australia in 1989.’
‘You have made our life better and beautiful with opportunities that we could have never imagined. Our love to you forever!’
The Chinese-Australian community have continued to show their gratitude to the Labor leader who wept as he read his speech at the Chinese Memorial at Parliament House.
Australian journalist Frances Mao told ABC news Mr Hawke’s decision is the reason her parents were able to stay in the country.
‘It kind of matters to hear it from your knockabout Aussie bloke… to hear someone standing up for you, and to hear someone being so… open and embracing of multiculturalism and embracing new migrants,’ she said.
‘Many of the Chinese-Australians growing up in the 90s, so many of my friends and my classmates, their parents would have done the same thing as my parents.’
Other Chinese-Australians have also expressed the importance of the former prime minister’s announcement.
‘Thirty years ago he granted asylum to all Chinese students in Australia after Tiananmen Square massacre. My mum was one of them. My family are forever grateful for this opportunity to live and thrive in this beautiful and democratic country,’ one person said.
‘My parents were also the beneficiaries of Bob Hawke’s promise to all Chinese students to be able to stay in Australia in 1989… I was just a toddler at the time, but his decision changed my life and is the reason I can call Australia home,’ another said.
Mr Hawke extended temporary permits and granted many Chinese citizens with permanent visas following the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre (pictured is Mr Hawke at the Chinese Memorial at Parliament House)