• Mon
  • Dec 22, 2014
  • Updated: 4:01am

Anti-China riots in Vietnam ease after 1,400 protesters arrested

Crackdown by Vietnamese police brings halt to deadly violence, but tensions remain with another big demonstration expected tomorrow

PUBLISHED : Friday, 16 May, 2014, 11:52pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 17 May, 2014, 3:23am

Anti-China protests in Vietnam eased yesterday after the arrest of more than 1,400 demonstrators.

There were no reports of fresh violence following the deadly wave of unrest that swept through 22 of Vietnam's 63 provinces from Tuesday.

It was triggered by China's deployment of an oil rig in the disputed Paracel Islands in the South China Sea.

More than 400 factories were damaged by mobs and the Chinese foreign ministry confirmed yesterday that two Chinese nationals had been killed.

Many Chinese in Vietnam were still fearful for their safety yesterday as speculation mounted about another demonstration tomorrow.

The arrests in southern and central Vietnam were reported by the Thanh Nien newspaper, an official mouthpiece of Vietnam's Communist Party Youth League.

Three hundred were charged with participating in protests on Wednesday and Thursday. And in Binh Duong, a province on the outskirts of Ho Chi Minh City, police arrested 950 protesters.

In Dong Nai province, police detained 224 rioters. They faced charges of causing public disorder and damaging property damage, the report said.

At least 76 people were also arrested in Ha Tinh province, where a Chinese worker was killed on Wednesday.

The Taiwanese Chamber of Commerce in Hanoi called on its members to hang Vietnamese flags on their factory gates and to remove any Chinese characters or signs visible from the outside. Many of the factories attacked were Taiwanese-owned.

Meanwhile, the tough rhetoric from Beijing and Hanoi continued, raising fears about the impact of the riots on bilateral ties. Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung sent a text message urging citizens to act in defence of national sovereignty, in accordance with the law.

He added: "Bad elements should not be allowed to instigate extremist actions that harm the country's interests and image."

People's Liberation Army chief of general staff Fang Fenghui vowed China would continue to operate the oil rig.

"We do not make trouble. We do not create trouble. But we are not afraid of trouble," he said after talks with his US counterpart General Martin Dempsey at the Pentagon.

Ouyang Yujing, director general of the foreign ministry's department of boundary and ocean affairs, said Vietnam had sent more than 60 vessels to waters around the oil rig.

He said Vietnamese vessels had rammed Chinese vessels 510 times since May 2. Vietnam had also dumped large volumes of steel-wire fishing nets, wood piles, buoys and other floating objects in the water, resulting in a "grave threat to the freedom and safety of navigation in the South China Sea", he said.

Ouyang said Vietnam had designated 57 oil and gas blocks in disputed waters, and 37 drilling platforms and two wells were sited some 60 nautical miles from the Paracel Islands.

"It is not that China is unable to obstruct Vietnam's operations," he said. "But taking into consideration overall bilateral relations and peace and stability in the South China Sea, China has exercised great restraint."

In Hong Kong, about 1,000 people have cancelled their trips to Vietnam.

Additional reporting by Lai Ying-kit, Associated Press, Agence France-Presse


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This article is now closed to comments

Regarding the riots, when Vietnam police joined the riots instead of protecting people and properties, you know these were official sanctioned riots, resulting in numerous deaths and injuries. My sympathy to the victims and their families.
People of Chinese origin heading to Vietnam are asking for trouble. Stay home and be safe, as more demonstrations (and riots?) are expected. One thing should be very clear to Chinese or people of Chinese origin from Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, or the world, that others will treat you nevertheless as Chinese as a group.
History have shown that Chinese minority, workers and business people of Chinese origin were frequently being made easy targets whenever there is uproar or discontent in SE Asia countries. The past and present suffering of Chinese minority in these countries should continue to remind us the risk, the cost of destruction, and the safety issues of workers and owners when doing business or running factories in these countries.
The irony is: both Vietnam and Philippines have long been drilling oils in disputed waters, ignoring complaints from ROC, PRC and other countries. The deployment of China's oil rig has been communicated in advance and is in the territorial water of China's Paracel Islands, inhabited with Chinese governmental and administrative personnel for decades.
I wholeheartedly support China to continue its operation and to match what others have done in disputed water.
"The deployment of China's oil rig has been communicated in advance and is in the territorial water of China's Paracel Islands, inhabited with Chinese governmental and administrative personnel for decades. "

You are shilling and BSing here. Enjoy your 50 cents I guess. Chinese people in Vietnam wouldn't have this problem if the PRC didn't do stupid hamfisted things that causes the region and to absolutely loath it. Ultimately it's the Chinese minority living in other Asian countries who end up suffering.
I support China to take a hard stand but first they should flush out all the Vietnamese,Pinoy and white trash from the mainland and Hong Kong.
Some guys here can't tell the difference between China and Communist Party of China (CCP) (maybe deliberately blur the difference). It is the CCP that are doing all those evils, not China or Chinese. Hate CCP and Mao Zedong , not China or Chinese, who are also the victims and suffers of communism.
All China supporters are 50 cents? That means over half of the commenters here are 50 cents, including me.
We Hongkongers should mimic such patriotism exhibited by the Vietnamese people. Hypothetically speaking, if such violence is justified it should happen here in HK. Hands Down!
Its ok, fagner can't distinguish between clients and the many men his mother hangs around with in her spare time... surprised if this **** is staying in HK...
And there are still people who seem to be surprised why nobody likes China and the Chinese. Well, apart from some African dictators like Mugabe and other scum.
Look on the bright side, more Vietnamese will be out of jobs soon. More opportunity for others to make some more moneys...
You probably work for Chinese?


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