News / Asia

Vietnam Police Break Up Anti-China Rallies

Anti-China protesters hold Vietnamese national flags and anti-China banners while marching on a street in Hanoi, December 9, 2012.Anti-China protesters hold Vietnamese national flags and anti-China banners while marching on a street in Hanoi, December 9, 2012.
x
Anti-China protesters hold Vietnamese national flags and anti-China banners while marching on a street in Hanoi, December 9, 2012.
Anti-China protesters hold Vietnamese national flags and anti-China banners while marching on a street in Hanoi, December 9, 2012.
Marianne Brown
South China Sea tensions have spilled over again in Vietnam as police detained 22 people Sunday at a protest in the capital.

Waving banners with slogans like "the Paracel and Spratly islands belong to Vietnam," and "China, stop massacring innocent Vietnamese fishermen," a group of up to 200 people met outside Hanoi’s Opera House and marched through the city center on the way to the Chinese Embassy, flanked by police.

After about 30 minutes police bundled 22 of the protesters into a bus. One of the detainees in the vehicle said they had been taken to detention center Loc Ha. Images from the protests were quickly uploaded onto blogs and social media. 

A similar protest was broken up in Ho Chi Minh City but there have been no reports of arrests there. One woman on the march in Hanoi, Bui Thi Minh Hang, 47, said the police had no right to detain the protesters.

She said people came to the march because they wanted to show their patriotism.

Last week the country’s state-run oil and gas giant PetroVietnam accused Chinese fishing boats of cutting the cables of a seismic survey vessel operating in Vietnamese waters. The company had accused China of cutting survey cables at least twice last year, triggering weeks of anti-China protests in Vietnam’s major cities.

Tensions have been rising recently as China released a new passport design showing the disputed area as part of China, provoking protests from other countries in the region. China’s Hainan province also caused a stir after releasing new regulations that will affect the country’s coastal regions, including the contested archipelagos.

Analysts say Vietnam and China use confrontations over the South China Sea to influence domestic public opinion and crack down on the demonstrators only when public opinion gets out of hand. Some believe authorities fear the protests will become anti-government.

Several high-profile rights activists were notably absent from Sunday's march. Anti-corruption activist Le Hien Duc was one of them.

Speaking on her way to visit those detained at the detention centre, Duc said police prevented her from leaving her home on Sunday morning so she could not attend the protest.

The land at the center of the dispute is the uninhabited Paracel and Spratly islands, which are believed to be rich in oil and gas reserves. China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan all claim South China Sea territories.

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years More

Video Scientists Say We Need Softer Robots

Today’s robots are mostly hard, rigid machines, with sharp edges and forceful movements, but researchers at Carnegie Mellon University say they should be softer and therefore safer More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs