Vietnam holds rare protests against China over sea disputes

HANOI Sat Dec 8, 2012 10:21pm EST

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HANOI (Reuters) - Vietnam held rare but brief protests against China in its two major cities on Sunday after Beijing demanded that Hanoi stop unilateral oil exploration in disputed waters and not harass Chinese fishing boats.

China's demands on Thursday raised tensions in a protracted maritime territorial dispute between the two neighbors.

About 30 people gathered opposite Hanoi's opera house, raising banners and shouting in protest against China before marching towards the Chinese embassy as part of a planned demonstration that was announced on several blogs.

Police moved in quickly, pushing the protesters onto a bus and taking them away. It was not immediately clear what happened to the Hanoi protesters after that, although protesters in similar cases are often taken for questioning and then released.

In downtown Ho Chi Minh City, another small protest was also quelled quickly when security officials seized banners held by protesters and disbanded the crowd, a witness said.

The authorities had tolerated a series of protests over China's territorial claims from June to August last year and in July this year.

China is in increasingly angry disputes with neighbors, including the Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam, Brunei and Malaysia over claims to parts of the potentially oil- and gas-rich South China Sea.

China lays claim to almost the whole of the sea, which is criss-crossed by crucial shipping lanes, and also has a separate dispute with Japan over islands in the East China Sea.

On Thursday, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said Vietnam had expelled Chinese fishing vessels from waters near China's southern Hainan province.

That description was in contrast to the account by Vietnam, which said a Vietnamese ship had a seismic cable it was pulling cut by two Chinese fishing ships.

(Reporting by Hanoi Newsroom; Editing by Paul Tait)

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Comments (3)
DeanMJackson wrote:
AZWarrior says, “I hope China has no end of trouble with their little communist brothers and perhaps a war will break out.”

That’s possible, but it would be a fake war. Remember the “Scissors Strategy” mentioned in my initial comment above.

Also, you forgot that it was mostly Chinese PLA in NVA uniforms that American forces were fighting in South Vietnam up to 1970-1971. When the CIA first got word that Chinese PLA was assisting the NVA they wouldn’t believe it. Why? Because they believed in the fake Sino/Soviet Split, even though KGB defector Major Anatoliy Golitsyn had already told the West that the Sino/Soviet Split was a strategic ruse!

Dec 09, 2012 5:01pm EST  --  Report as abuse
If the civilized international communities think that China will be swayed by peaceful demonstrations, diplomatic niceties and small neighbors of South East Asia, they will eventually regret. China views the world through its imperial past and recent humiliation by the West/Japan…coupled with sudden superpower status, it looks for a pay-back filled with territorial expansions and political supremacy starting with South East Asia. We must directly and forcefully confront them now or wait indecisively until their accelerated growth makes it a a global tragedy.

Dec 10, 2012 8:11am EST  --  Report as abuse
@DeanMJackson: You have sad mind & soul for not understanding facts and wishing ill to people!

Dec 10, 2012 4:42pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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