China Urges Vietnam to Ensure Safety of Chinese Nationals

World Today

Commuters drive past as riot police (L) stand guard outside a burning factory building (back) in the Vietnamese southern province of Binh Duong on May 14, 2014, as anti-China protesters set more than a dozen factories on fire in Vietnam in the biggest eruption of rage against Beijing for decades over the deployment of an oil rig in contested waters. China expressed “serious concerns” after Vietnamese workers went on the rampage Tuesday, looting goods and attacking offices in a rare outburst of public unrest in the authoritarian communist nation. AFP PHOTO

China’s Foreign Ministry has confirmed reports that rioters inside Vietnam have attacked Chinese nationals and property across the country. The Chinese government has urged Vietnam to take responsibility for the issue and safeguard Chinese nationals and their property.

Hua Chunying, spokeswoman of Chinese Foreign Ministry, said, “We are shocked by the reports. Personnel from China’s Embassy in Vietnam are rushing to the remote province where the attacks occurred. China’s Foreign Ministry will hold an emergency meeting with Vietnam’s Ambassador to China to make a solemn representation, and to urge the Vietnamese side to take every possible effective measure to ensure the safety of Chinese nationals and property in Vietnam. I have to point out that, the recent violent attacks against Chinese nationals and companies have direct links to the Vietnamese government’s indifference and tolerance of anti-China forces in the country. We urge the Vietnamese government to take responsibility to investigate the attacks, severely punish the rioters, and provide compensation for the losses.”

“We have said it many times, that the Chinese oil company has been conducting normal operations within Chinese territory.”

The spokeswoman also urged Vietnam to take necessary measures to provide a basic safe environment for foreign investors and companies. She said China’s Embassy in Vietnam has warned Chinese nationals in the country to be on alert, and that it will offer help and protection to any Chinese nationals that need it. The anti-China riots in Vietnam came amid rising tensions between the two countries over territorial disputes. Vietnamese ships and personnel had repeatedly harassed the normal operations of a Chinese oil company in the South China Sea.