HANOI, May 16. /ITAR-TASS/. Police has detained about 1,300 people in anti-Chinese protests that have recently swept across southern and central Vietnam, a source in Vietnamese police told ITAR-TASS on Friday.
A wave of anti-Chinese riots has recently swept across major industrial parks where industrial facilities owned by Chinese investors are located. More than 20,000 employees protested against China’s intensified claims on the disputed water area in the South China Sea. In early May, Beijing unilaterally started oil exploration in the area, which the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea defines as part of Vietnam’s 200-mile exclusive economic zone.
The largest number of protesters, about 950, has been arrested in the southern province of Binh Duong; more than 200 have been detained in the neighboring region of Dong Nai. Disorders there rampaged through and burnt down at least 15 foreign facilities, among them the Chinese, Taiwanese and Singapore’s ones. More than 1,000 foreign facilities had to suspend operations.
Prime Minister of Vietnam Nguyen Tan Dung demanded that the police and regional authorities at all levels prevented new disorders and took measures to protect foreigners in Vietnam.
Vietnam’s Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh assured Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on the phone on Thursday the Vietnamese Government guaranteed security for foreigners living and working in Vietnam and protection of foreign investors’ lawful interests.