As tensions continue to escalate over the South China Sea, AP reports Vietnam has broken up anti-China protests in two cities and has detained 20:
Police initially allowed about 200 protesters to march from Hanoi’s iconic Opera House through the streets, but after 30 minutes ordered them to disperse. When some continued, they pushed about 20 of them into a large bus which then drove quickly from the scene. It was unclear where they were taken, but in the past people detained at anti-China protests have been briefly held and released.
As foreign tourists and Sunday morning strollers looked on, protesters shouted “Down with China” and carried banners bearing the slogan “China’s military expansion threatens world peace and security.”
Using loudspeakers, authorities urged them to disperse and tried to reassure them.
“The Communist Party and government are resolutely determined to defend our country’s sovereignty and territory through peaceful means based on international law,” it said. “Your gathering causes disorder and affects the party’s and government’s foreign policy.”
These protests come amid Beijing’s call for Hanoi to halt oil exploration in the disputed waters. Aside from the protest in Hanoi, a smaller protest in Ho Chi Min city was also broken up by police, from AFP:
Activists at the scene told AFP that the 20 demonstrators were rounded up into a bus after the half-hour rally, the fifth such display of public discontent in Hanoi this year against Beijing’s perceived aggression in the sea.
The protestors were taken to Loc Ha detention centre on the outskirts of Hanoi, one activist told AFP on condition of anonymity. “I’m detained. And they’ve jammed my mobile phone,” the activist said via text message. They could not be reached for further questions.
Security forces also broke up a similar anti-China protest also attended by hundreds
« Back to Article