HANOI: A Chinese working group led by Assistant Foreign Minister Liu Jianchao held talks with its Vietnamese counterpart here on Friday on the recent violence against Chinese nationals and companies.
Liu Jianchao said that serious violence including vandalism, looting and arson occurred recently in several localities in Vietnam, causing casualties of Chinese nationals and major property damages to Chinese companies. Liu said the Chinese government has always attached great importance to the safety of Chinese nationals and strongly urged the Vietnamese side to take actions to deal with the aftermath of the riots and make efforts to treat the injured.
While urging for continued investigation into the violence and harsh punishment of all perpetrators, Liu also demanded Vietnam take resolute and effective measures to immediately prevent violent actions to make sure that similar acts do not recur and protect the safety of the lives and property of all Chinese nationals and organizations in the country. For his part, Vietnamese Deputy Foreign Minister Pham Quang Vinh once again expressed his regret for the losses of lives and properties of the Chinese side.
He said after the incidents, the Vietnamese side immediately took firm measures to mobilize all forces to strengthen the protection of the Chinese enterprises and personnel. The Vietnamese deputy foreign minister reaffirmed that his country would continue to make all-out efforts to protect the safety of Chinese nationals and organizations and stop all violence. The Chinese working group on Friday also met Dang Van Hieu, Vietnamese deputy minister of public security. Hieu said that the Vietnamese government and the public security ministry had strengthened the police and intensified the protection of Chinese enterprises and personnel. He also informed that the Vietnamese side had arrested more than 1,000 criminal suspects and they would be dealt with according to law.
At present, the situation tends to be stable and the Vietnamese public security ministry will continue to take effective measures to ensure the safety of Chinese institutions and personnel in Vietnam, Hieu added. The anti-China looting and arson in Vietnam came after Vietnamese ships and personnel repeatedly harassed the normal operations of a Chinese oil company in waters only 17 nautical miles (27 kilometers) from China’s Xisha Islands and about 150 nautical miles (241 kilometers) from Vietnam in the South China Sea. From May 3 to May 7, Vietnam dispatched 36 vessels, which rammed Chinese vessels 171 times. A Chinese enterprise was carrying out normal oil drilling activities in China’s Xisha Islands and its contiguous zone, activities which had started 10 years ago, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said.
However, the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry on May 7 said Vietnam “cannot accept China’s illegal drilling rig HD-981” and “it is an infringement of Vietnam’s sovereignty.” With distorted information published by Vietnam’s state-run media, the largest anti-China demonstrations in 10 years have been held throughout Vietnam since May 9, and the bloody attacks on Chinese nationals and companies have spread from southern Vietnam Tuesday to central and northern Vietnam Thursday. Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung on Thursday ordered the Ministry of Public Security and other ministries, sectors and localities nationwide to take firm measures to prevent and punish those who incited others to disturb law and social order.
According to the directive on the Vietnamese government’s website, the prime minister requested local authorities to protect businesses and their production, especially foreign ones, and to urgently help and support the enterprises to resume business and production soon. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang on Wednesday accused the Vietnamese vessels which had rammed Chinese ships of violating China’s sovereignty and jurisdiction.
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