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article imageChina evacuates Nationals from Vietnam as violence escalates

By Karen Graham     May 17, 2014 in Politics
Chinese media is reporting that 3,000 Chinese Nationals have been evacuated from Viet Nam today because of an an upsurge in anti-China protests following Beijing's deployment of an oil rig in disputed waters.
The announcement was made after Vietnamese social groups called for continuing demonstrations against China. This act follows riots and protests earlier last week in which two Chinese workers died and over 100 more were injured.
Vietnamese officials said on Saturday they had called for an end to demonstrations because "illegal acts" could damage national stability. This past week, dissidents have set fire to 15 foreign-owned factories, including Chinese, Taiwanese and South Korean businesses in several industrial parks.
The dispute was triggered when China moved its Haiyang Shiyou 981 oil rig into contested waters in the South China Sea. Reports say the government in Hanoi appears to be troubled by the demonstrations because the country depends heavily on foreign investments for its economic growth. But China is saying authorities need to take tougher measures to punish the rioters.
China's official Xinhua news agency also reported The Chinese government is arranging for a chartered plane and ship to evacuate the staff of The China 19th Metallurgical Corporation, a contractor of one of the plants badly hit by the violence. In a later update, the news agency reported that "Sixteen critically injured Chinese nationals were evacuated from Vietnam early Sunday morning aboard a chartered medical flight arranged by (the) Chinese government."
China's deployment of an oil rig into disputed waters in the South China Sea, an area also claimed by Vietnam and Taiwan, ignited a long-simmering feud between the two countries in the worst anti-China riots seen in decades. Last week violence spread to 22 of Vietnam's 63 provinces as enraged workers torched foreign-owned factories.
China's Foreign Ministry posted a statement on its website today: "The Foreign Ministry advises Chinese nationals temporarily not to travel to Vietnam. (It also advises) Chinese citizens and structures in Vietnam to increase their risk-awareness, to strengthen their security prevention measures, and to avoid leaving (their premises)."
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