Vietnam Stops Anti-China Protests After Deadly Riots, China Evacuates

Posted by Joseph R. Fonseca
Sunday, May 18, 2014
Vietnam protest stops

 

Vietnam flooded major cities with police to avert anti-China protests on Sunday in the wake of rare and deadly rioting in industrial parks that deepened a tense standoff with Beijing over sovereignty in the South China Sea.

China has evacuated more than 3,000 nationals following the attacks on Chinese workers and Chinese-owned businesses last week, and Beijing had sent five ships on Sunday to bring more people home, China's state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Several arrests were made in the capital Hanoi and commercial hub Ho Chi Minh City within minutes of groups trying to start protests, according to witnesses, as Vietnam's communist rulers stuck to their vow to thwart any repeat of last week's violence in three provinces in the south and centre.

Fury has gripped Vietnam after Chinese state energy firm CNOOC deployed dozens of ships two weeks ago and towed a $1 billion oil rig to a location 240 kilometres (150 miles) off Vietnam's coast in an area both counties claim.

It was one of the most assertive moves China has made in seas believed to be endowed with billions of barrels worth of oil.

Coming just days after U.S. President Barack Obama visited several Asian allies engaged in territorial disputes with China, and U.S. official in Washington described China's action as provocative, and said Beijing's fraught relations with neighbours could potentially strain ties with the United States.

"Our intention was to protest in support of the government to chase the oil rig away from Vietnam's territorial waters," said Van Cung, 74, a retired army colonel who was attempting to protest outside the Chinese embassy in Hanoi.

Protests of hundreds in Vietnam's cities were allowed to a week ago, a rare move in a state that usually suppresses them. However, what started as a peaceful march in two southern industrialised provinces on Monday spiralled a day later into a rampage of arson, destruction and looting of Chinese-owned factories, and Taiwanese businesses mistaken for being Chinese.

Fighting between Vietnamese and Chinese workers broke out in central Ha Tinh province on Wednesday killing two people and wounding 140, the government said.China's foreign ministry also put the casualties at two dead and 100 injured, Xinhua said.

A doctor and an eyewitness, however, said they saw between 13 and 21 dead bodies, mostly Chinese, on the night of the unrest.

Sixteen critically injured Chinese nationals were evacuated from Vietnam early on Sunday aboard a chartered medical flight arranged by the Chinese government, the foreign ministry said in a separate statement.

The violence has angered China, which has demanded swift action against the perpetrators and for Vietnam to do more to protect Chinese nationals and businesses.

A text message was sent to Vietnamese cellphone users on Saturday saying Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung had ordered the security forces to prevent illegal acts. A top police investigator rejected assertions that the authorities remained aloof when the rioting erupted.

TENSE TIES

Police and traffic police gathered in small clusters on street corners in the centres of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City on Sunday, where large numbers of people were milling around in hot and humid conditions in anticipation of rallies.

Trucks with loudspeakers circled parks and stopped at intersections telling onlookers to disperse. A handful of people who tried to start a protest in Ho Chi Minh City were rounded up and taken away in a van as sirens blared.

"Vietnam may be small, but we are not weak", said a small sign held up by a man who was ordered by police to disperse.

On Saturday, China's Foreign Ministry advised Chinese nationals to hold off from traveling to Vietnam and told its citizens in Vietnam to avoid leaving their premises.

The spat has been the worst breakdown in shaky but important ties between the two Communist states since a brief but bloody border war in 1979.

Trade between the two neighbours was worth $50 billion last year, with China a crucial source of imports for Vietnam. Diplomatic ties have long been strained and many Vietnamese are embittered by what they see as a history of Chinese bullying.

The rioters had also targeted Taiwan and Hong Kong businesses, presumably mistaking them for mainland Chinese. On Sunday, Singapore issued a statement saying Vietnam's Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh had called his Singaporean counterpart to give assurance that industrial parks for joint ventures between the two countries would be protected.

Vietnam's authorities have long been uncomfortable with public protests, even if they are about China, in what is often seen as fear that demonstrations could harness wider discontent over land grabs, corruption, an underperforming economy and one-party rule.

Dao Minh Chau, 44, who described himself as "a Vietnamese who loves his motherland", said he was fully behind the government.

"We already signed a letter to request the government to bring China to the international courts," he said.

"We will tell clearly to our government that we behind the government to protestChina's aggressive policy and the government can rely on us."

(Writing by Martin Petty; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

Maritime Today


The Maritime Industry's original and most viewed E-News Service

Maritime Reporter April 2016 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Legal

French Wheat Exports Await Indonesia Approval

French wheat exports to Indonesia are on hold as traders await the approval of a food safety agreement between the two countries, something exporters say is being

Fitch: M&A, Not Alliances to Help Revive Container Shipping

The following statement was released by the rating agency: Mergers and acquisitions, rather than the historically more popular alliances, are inevitable to address

Cosco Pacific Q1 Profit Up

Cosco Pacific Ltd.'s  first-quarter  ended 31 March 2016 net profit rose 31.4% from a year earlier on the back of a one-off gain. Turnover sank 2.27% yearly to US$129 million.

Offshore

Subsea 7 Profits Dip in Q1

Subsea 7 S.A. announced its financial results for the first quarter ending March 31, 2016, reporting revenues of $746 million, down 37 percent from the prior year period.

Challenges for Offshore Exploration

The oil discoveries are down 47% y-o-y on an annualised basis so far in 2016, global rig utilisation has dropped 22 percentage points to 73% in two years, and 29% of seismic units are inactive,

Sembcorp Profit Halved as Clients Defer Projects

Revenue falls 30 pct; order book at S$9.7 billion. Singapore rig-builder Sembcorp Marine's quarterly profit halved as customers deferred projects, and it faces

Energy

Singapore Revokes Two Bunker Licenses

Singapore's Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) have revoked two bunker suppliers' license to operate in the world's top bunker port.    The two companies have,

Subsea 7 Profits Dip in Q1

Subsea 7 S.A. announced its financial results for the first quarter ending March 31, 2016, reporting revenues of $746 million, down 37 percent from the prior year period.

India Instructs Disputed Tanker to Await UN Orders

India has instructed an Indian-flagged oil tanker that has been blacklisted by the U.N. not to discharge its cargo of crude oil from Libya's rival eastern government

News

Ageing Seaborne Steel Products

In 2015, seaborne steel products trade accounted for around a fifth of minor bulk trade, having grown on average by 6% per annum since 2010, according to Clarksons Research.

Singapore Revokes Two Bunker Licenses

Singapore's Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) have revoked two bunker suppliers' license to operate in the world's top bunker port.    The two companies have,

CKYHE Alliance to Reorganize US East Coast Service

CKYHE Alliance, COSCON, “K”Line, Yang Ming, Hanjin and Evergreen Line, is reorganizing their service network for Asia-US East Coast trade in 2016.   CKYHE Alliance

Offshore Energy

Subsea 7 Profits Dip in Q1

Subsea 7 S.A. announced its financial results for the first quarter ending March 31, 2016, reporting revenues of $746 million, down 37 percent from the prior year period.

Ulstein Verft's First Wind Service Vessel Launched

Shipbuilder Ulstein Verft has launched its first vessel within the renewable energy segment, and also the first with the newly-developed X-STERN hull line design.

Challenges for Offshore Exploration

The oil discoveries are down 47% y-o-y on an annualised basis so far in 2016, global rig utilisation has dropped 22 percentage points to 73% in two years, and 29% of seismic units are inactive,

 
 
Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Pod Propulsion Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Repair Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.2121 sec (5 req/sec)