Beijing: Stung by anti-China riots in Vietnam over the South China Sea dispute, Beijing today hit back by suspending plans for bilateral exchanges with Hanoi even as it evacuated over 3,000 Chinese workers from the southeast Asian nation.
Staff members, from the China 19th Metallurgical Corporation (MCC19), arrived at the Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport in southwest China`s Sichuan Province.
"They returned to China with the assistance of (the) Chinese Embassy to Vietnam," China`s Foreign Ministry said today in a statement.
China will suspend some of its plans for bilateral exchanges with Vietnam in response to the deadly violence against Chinese nationals in the country, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said without elaborating.
He made the remarks while commenting on the possible repercussions of the incidents in Vietnam that have left two Chinese nationals dead and more than 100 others injured, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
Hong said China has also lifted the level of security warning for Chinese tourists in Vietnam, asking its citizens not to travel to the country.
"The severe violence targeting foreign companies in Vietnam since May 13 has caused casualties and property losses for Chinese nationals. This sabotaged the atmosphere and conditions for bilateral communication and cooperation," he said.
China will also consider taking further measures according to the further developments, he warned. China has already blamed Vietnam for conniving with anti-China forces to instigate the riots.
Unofficial reports said 21 Chinese were killed and over 100 injured in a spate of attacks on Chinese factories in mob attacks in the last few days after China and Vietnam clashed over the deployment of a Chinese oil rig in the disputed South China Sea waters on May 1.
China confirmed two deaths.
Naval vessels of the two countries rammed into each other over 500 times even though there was no incident of firing so far.