Vietnamese protest over islands dispute with China

China, Vietnam and other Asian countries claim sovereignty over areas of South China Sea believed to be rich in oil and gas reserves.

Hanoi: Vietnamese have marched through Hanoi`s streets shouting "down with China!" in a rare protest on Sunday following a week of growing tensions over disputed territory in the South China Sea.
About 200 people waved flags and chanted in the rain as they walked through the centre of the capital toward the Chinese embassy. Police stopped traffic and did not attempt to quash the demonstration, but the area near the embassy was cordoned off.

The protest follows an announcement by China that it will open nine oil and gas lots to international bidders, even though the area overlaps with Vietnam`s current exploration contracts.

Hanoi has protested the plan. China, Vietnam and other Asian countries claim sovereignty over areas of the sea believed to be rich in oil and gas reserves.

PTI

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