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World

Migrant art challenges China's ideas on refugees

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World

Migrant art challenges China's ideas on refugees

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COMING UP:Migrant art challenges China's ideas on refugees

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00:00:02
>> Vivid brushstrokes telling a dark story. Syrian children displaced by violence painting the lives they've grown up knowing. But is a shopping mall in China the right place to get their message across?>> I'm Anita Lee in Shanghai, where an organization called Chinese Initiative on International Law is using art made by young Syrian refugees to highlight the migrant crisis in Europe.
00:00:26
China wants to play greater role in global affairs, but it hasn't opened it's doors to a single middle Eastern refugee. Part of the problem here is it's out of sight, out of mind to many Chinese, that war-torn part of the world and its issues are simply too far away.
00:00:44
China may not have a shining record when it comes to refugees, but Amnesty International actually ranks it number one for welcoming them. Based on a survey asking people how willing they would be to embrace them. Exhibit Curator Liu Yiqiang says this could be down to a crucial misunderstanding.
00:01:03
>> The word refugee can be translated different ways in Chinese. The amnesty survey likely used a word that made people think of something like local victims of a flood, rather than people forced out of their country by war.>> A state media survey says less than 10% of Chinese people would welcome foreign refugees.
00:01:20
But really the numbers are irrelevant, because China actually has no legal framework to support them. It's an uphill battle, but Liu says using art is better than nothing.>> I don't have any real answers, I just hope what we're doing now will encourage more Chinese people to help a little.
00:01:37
And then maybe there will be a turning point in the crisis.>> Liu hopes to auction off the art and use the money to send Chinese volunteers to teach in Turkey, giving young Syrians there a shot at a brighter future.