Vietnam moves to silence anti-Beijing protests as China evacuates its citizens

In a sign of intensifying anti-China mood in Vietnam, the government here evacuated over 3000 Chinese nationals who were shipped to Beijing with asistance of Chinese government.

By Supriya Jha | Last Updated: May 18, 2014, 15:12 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau/Supriya Jha

Hanoi: In a sign of intensifying anti-China mood in Vietnam, the government here evacuated over 3000 Chinese nationals who were shipped to Beijing with assistance of Chinese government.

Vietnam has been ebullient since last week with scores of Vietnamese protesting against Beijing with demonstrators shouting anti-China slogans like “Get Out China”, “China Back Off From Paracel Islands”, etc.

At least two Chinese nationals were killed and hundreds injured in the anti-China riots in Vietnam.

The Vietnamese government has meanwhile started tightening noose on the protesters, by breaking up planned anti-China protests in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

Also, police have been deployed outside the houses of known dissidents, said reports.

The Vietnamese government`s attempts to crackdown on anti-Chinese protests come as the unrest might hit the country`s stability and businesses.

At the heart of the protests is the Chinese deployment of Haiyang Shiyou 981 oil rig in the disputed waters of South China Sea, west of Paracel islands.

The Chinese government has provided with charterd flights and ships to help its nationals leave Vietnam, reported the Xinhua, citing Chinese foreign ministry.

China has also intructed its citizens to avoid a trip to Vietnam in wake of the strong anti-Beijing mood there.

Vietnam has witnessed fierce protests despite the government`s call for ending the protests.

Vietnames angry with China, have set ablaze more than a dozen of foreign-owned factories - including Chinese, Taiwanese and South Korean businesses - in several Vietnamese industrial parks, according to the BBC.

The South China Sea dispute was reignited earlier this month when Chinese ships were said to have rammed into Vietnamese ships in a bid to establish its oil rig in the waters claimed by both the countries. 

According to a video footage released by Vietnam, a Chinese ship was shown shooting a water cannon at a Vietnamese vessel which was apparently trying to thwart the oil rig. 

Several boats had been damaged and at least six Vietnamese on board were injured, officials said.

Claiming the territory as its own, China deployed its $1 billion oil rig flanked with a flotilla of Navy ships. Even the Philippines resisted the move, warning to respond with self -defence if provoked.
China occupied the Paracel Islands 40 years ago, and 74 US-backed South Vietnamese forces died in a subsequent military clash. The Vietnamese and Chinese navies clashed again in 1988 in the disputed Spratly Islands, leaving 64 Vietnamese sailors dead.
Not just China, Vietnam, and the Philippines, other nations like Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan are also the claimants in the disputed region.

(with agency inputs)