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Last Updated: Monday, 23 October 2006, 15:31 GMT 16:31 UK
'Chinese look same' claim backed
Coat of Arms
The comments were made during a case involving a Chinese man
A sheriff who claimed that all Chinese people look the same at first glance has received community groups' support.

Sheriff Margaret Gimblett cleared student Hui Yu, 23, from Beijing, of a motoring offence on Friday.

During the case, she reportedly told Greenock Sheriff Court that at first glance all Chinese people can look the same to a native Scot.

Community groups said the remark was neither derogatory nor offensive and many Chinese feel the same about Scots.

Sheriff Gimblett dismissed evidence from two police officers who identified Mr Yu.

She reportedly said a person would only begin to see the differences in a Chinese person after looking at them for quite some time.

I don't think she meant to make a derogatory remark at all and many Chinese people feel the same about us
Janice Dickson
Scotland-China Association

Sam Chau, headteacher at the Chinese School at Stow College in Glasgow, said he did not find the sheriff's comments offensive.

He said: "I wouldn't say it was an accurate comment but it does sound like a fair comment.

"It doesn't sound offensive, because when she said that all Chinese people look the same, she said they looked the same at first glance.

'Quite difficult'

"From my point of view, when I look at local people - the indigenous Scottish people - at first glance all of them look the same to me."

Janice Dickson, chairwoman of the Scotland-China Association, said she thought that the sheriff's comments were accurate.

She said: "It can be quite difficult with Chinese people if you don't know them quite well.

"It would be difficult to differentiate and remember a Chinese face.

"I don't think she meant to make a derogatory remark at all and many Chinese people feel the same about us."

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