China accuses Vietnam of conniving with rioters as 21 killed

China accused Vietnam of acting in connivance with the rioters, who reportedly killed at least 21 Chinese nationals during protests against the deployment of a Chinese oil rig to drill in disputed waters.

Beijing: China on Sunday accused Vietnam of acting in connivance with the rioters, who reportedly killed at least 21 Chinese nationals during protests against the deployment of a Chinese oil rig to drill in disputed waters.
"We are following these reports closely. Deeply shocked by these reports and express our serious concerns," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told a media briefing here.

Tensions flared up between China and Vietnam over attempts by a Chinese oil rig to drill in the disputed waters in South China Sea from May 1, following which naval vessels from both the countries rammed into each other hundreds of times besides using water cannons at each other.

While reports from Hanoi said 21 people were killed in widespread riots targeting Chinese factories and projects, China`s official news agency Xinhua reported that two Chinese were killed and 10 others "unaccounted for".

It said 149 people were injured and over 100 hospitalised after rioters attacked Chinese companies in Vietnam`s central Ha Tinh Province.

The riots, which broke-out in southern Vietnam on Tuesday, has spread to central and northern parts of that country, stated to be the worst since the two countries fought a border war in 1979.

Hua directly blamed the Vietnamese government for the violence saying it connived with rioters in targeting Chinese workers.

"We must point out that trashing, looting and burning activities against Chinese companies in Vietnam have everything to do with Vietnamese connivance with anti-China forces and lawbreakers," she told a media briefing here.

"The facts are clear that Vietnam`s attempt to rope in others to put pressure on China will not achieve its goal. We hope Vietnam can have a clear picture in mind, calmly face the reality and stop disrupting China`s operations," Hua said.

China has made a solemn representation to the Vietnamese government to take responsibility, make a thorough investigation and seriously punish these lawbreakers and pay compensation to Chinese people, she said.