China says it plans to send five more ships in an effort to evacuate its citizens from Vietnam, where anti-Chinese protests have turned violent.
Reporting from Shanghai, NPR’s Frank Langfitt tells our Newscast unit that Vietnamese authorities broke up another protest planned for today. He filed this report:
“At least one passenger ship has already sailed from Ch’s far southern province of Hainan to Vietnam, according to the New China News Service.
“Last week, 3,000 Chinese nationals were evacuated from Vietnam, according to China’s foreign ministry.
“They fled mass riots that left two Chinese dead and more than 100 injured, according to China’s government.
“The riots were triggered by an oil drilling rig China moved into Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and subsequent clashes between Chinese and Vietnamese ships.
“China’s move is widely seen in the region as part of a long-term strategy for establishing dominance in the crucial South China Sea, where the U.S. Navy ensured peace for decades.”
As the protests kicked off, the Vietnamese government appears to have sanctioned them.
But, the BBC reports, in recent days, 15 foreign-owned factories have been set on fire, which worried Vietnamese authorities because “Hanoi depends heavily on foreign investment for economic growth.”
China, as you might expect, is saying Vietnam has failed “to respond effectively to curb an escalation.”
If you’re interested in more background, The Washington Post has a historical look at the Sino-Vietnamese relationship.