News / Asia

    Vietnam Cracks Down on Anti-China Protests

    A protester gestures as he marches during an anti-China protest in Vietnam's southern Ho Chi Minh city, May 18, 2014.
    A protester gestures as he marches during an anti-China protest in Vietnam's southern Ho Chi Minh city, May 18, 2014.
    Marianne Brown
    Protests against China’s deployment of an oil rig in waters claimed by Vietnam were shut down by police on Sunday. The move follows a week of demonstrations, with some turning violent.

    There was a heavy police presence outside the Chinese Embassy in Hanoi Sunday morning, with a park used by protesters last week fenced off.

    The few demonstrators who turned up were quickly surrounded by police, who tried to prevent them from speaking to reporters. Le Thien Nhan, a regular participant on anti-China protests, was one of them.

    He said several of his friends wanted to join the protest Sunday morning but were prevented from leaving their homes by police.

    Several protesters were detained by police in Ho Chi Minh City. In Hanoi, while speaking to VOA, a 22-year-old protester was shoved by plain-clothes police until they eventually dragged him and his friend away.

    One policewoman said gatherings were “illegal” in the area.
     
    Sign on road opposite the Chinese Embassy in Hanoi, Vietnam, May 18, 2014 (Marianne Brown/VOA)Sign on road opposite the Chinese Embassy in Hanoi, Vietnam, May 18, 2014 (Marianne Brown/VOA)
    x
    Sign on road opposite the Chinese Embassy in Hanoi, Vietnam, May 18, 2014 (Marianne Brown/VOA)
    Sign on road opposite the Chinese Embassy in Hanoi, Vietnam, May 18, 2014 (Marianne Brown/VOA)

    It’s a dramatic turnaround for the government, which just last week sanctioned large protests across the country. However, during the week riots linked to the protests broke out in industrial parks in South and Central Vietnam, with two Chinese workers killed and around 100 others injured.

    Some observers have speculated that the riots gathered momentum over poor factory conditions rather than anti-China sentiment.

    At a press conference on the riots on Saturday officials attempted to reassure investors. Officials said that the situation was now under control and companies affected would be compensated for their losses.

    Dang Minh Khoi, assistant to the Minister for Foreign Affairs, said the protests had "badly impacted the business activities of enterprises, people’s lives and social order, creating a bad image for Vietnam’s investment environment."

    Lieutenant General Hoang Kong Tu, chief of the Ministry of Public Security’s Investigation Department, told reporters that hundreds of people had been arrested.
     
    Anti-China protester surrounded by police in Hanoi, Vietnam, May 18, 2014 (Marianne Brown/VOA)Anti-China protester surrounded by police in Hanoi, Vietnam, May 18, 2014 (Marianne Brown/VOA)
    x
    Anti-China protester surrounded by police in Hanoi, Vietnam, May 18, 2014 (Marianne Brown/VOA)
    Anti-China protester surrounded by police in Hanoi, Vietnam, May 18, 2014 (Marianne Brown/VOA)
    The Ministry of Public Security has been criticized for acting too slowly, but Tu said the government’s response had been “timely”. It had reacted in a proactive and drastic manner to mitigate losses, he said.

    The dispute over the oil rig shows no sign of abating. Vietnam said China has increased the number of vessels at the area to 130 vessels, including four navy ships.

    China has evacuated over 3,000 citizens from Vietnam following the riots, official news agency Xinhua reported.

    On Saturday, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung sent a series of text messages to subscribers of state-run mobile phone networks calling for people to show their patriotism but not to get involved in “illegal” protests. The first of such messages were sent Thursday.

    What exactly constitutes an “illegal” protest remains unclear, however the message sent by police on Sunday suggests the government will not allow space for more anti-China protests any time soon.

    You May Like

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    In a jab at Trump, Clinton says her team wants to 'build bridges, not walls'; Obama Hails Kaine's record; Trump calls Kaine a 'job-killer'

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments page of 2
     Previous    
    by: phamd from: us
    May 18, 2014 11:00 AM
    Nobody like China.YAOUNDE, CAMEROON — The Nigerian Islamist sect Boko Haram has attacked Waza, in Cameroon's Far North Region, kidnapping 10 Chinese engineers and killing one Cameroonian soldier, according to local reports.The end of china soon happen .
    In Response

    by: UglyChina
    May 19, 2014 12:07 AM
    Vietnamese people. Take on the Evil China, fight till the last man.. just a few lines borrowed from The Exodus Song...

    This land is mine, God gave this land to me
    This brave and ancient land to me


    ....

    If I must fight, I'll fight to make this land our own
    Until I die, this land is mine

    by: We just fade away
    May 18, 2014 7:56 AM
    The message is: Vietnam is still a safe destination for foreign investors, there is nothing to worry about.
    In Response

    by: Freedom_is_not_free from: USA
    May 19, 2014 2:49 PM
    Jole,


    The currently Vietnamese Communist government is NOT trust-able. It put its own people in jail even peaceful protests. Even some artists wrote patriot songs were put in jail. The whole
    Vietnam is a big jail. There was only Republic of Vietnam government (or South Vietnam government) did stand up with Chinese against invasion of Hoang-Sa. 74 Republic of Vietnam Navy had lost their lives to protect their country when Chinese invaded Hoang Sa in January 1974. Communist government has never say a word about these heroes. Captain Nguy Van Tha and his deputy Nguyen Thanh Tri scarified their lives to defense Hoang Sa. Vietnamese people in Manila, Philippines have more freedom to "love" their motherland than Vietnamese at Vietnam.
    What a joke! Long live Vietnam. Down to Communism.
    In Response

    by: Jole
    May 18, 2014 2:39 PM
    We-Vietnamese people always trust in Government and strongly disagree with Chinese people's illegal actions.
    And there will not any troubles more with foreign investors.

    In Response

    by: We just fade away
    May 18, 2014 1:42 PM
    ... not for mainland chinese but the message "Vietnam is safe" again is intended for other non-mainland Chinese investors.
    In Response

    by: joe from: usa
    May 18, 2014 12:30 PM
    I don't think so if China is getting closer and closer.
    In Response

    by: Bart from: Japan
    May 18, 2014 9:22 AM
    It shows that Vietnamese government does not allow for a social total war with China and they are right in a two-folded sense. First of all, confronting China at the early stage of conflict is pointless, because there are still diplomatic ways of resolving the problem. Finally, the government shows that can not allow for an aggressive reaction of its citizens and manage the situation in a single-reply fashion as a righteous country.
    Comments page of 2
     Previous    

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora