HANOI, May 15 (Xinhua) -- The Vietnamese government sent mixed signals Thursday after mobs killed at least two Chinese nationals and more than 100 others in anti-China violence that has spread throughout Vietnam.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Le Hai Binh argued at a press briefing that the what he called manifestation of patriotism and determination to "protect the national sovereignty" was a "legitimate and natural" action.
However, it should be conducted in accordance with law and friendship between peoples worldwide, Binh said in touching on the matter lightly.
Vietnam would use all measures suitable to "defend sovereignty" with the development of the situation in the South China Sea, the spokesman threatened, referring to the waters in the vicinity of China's Xisha Islands.
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. He urged the Vietnamese side to calm down, respect China's sovereignty and jurisdiction and not to attempt to further complicate and aggravate the situation.
Commentary: Vietnam must ensure safety of Chinese citizens in the country
HANOI, May 15 (Xinhua) -- Relations between China and Vietnam have largely enjoyed steady progress in recent years.
During Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's visit to Hanoi last October, the two countries agreed to comprehensively push forward bilateral cooperation over land, in the sea and in the financial sector. Full story
Vietnamese official vows to suppress illegal actions in anti-China protests
HANOI, May 14 (Xinhua) -- Tran Van Nam, vice chairman of Binh Duong Province People's Committee, said in a interview on Wednesday that Binh Duong is determined to suppress those who force others to take illegal actions.
On Tuesday, the anti-China protests in Binh Duong Province, some 1,120 km south of Vietnamese capital Hanoi, went violent. Thousands protesters broke into foreign factories, conducting wrecking and looting, which leads to over 1,000 factories shut down and over 15 factories burning down. Most of the factories belong to China's Taiwan invested companies, local Chinese told Xinhua on Wednesday. Full story
China urges against Vietnamese interference in territorial water exploration
BEIJING, May 7 (Xinhua) -- China said on Wednesday that operation of its drilling rig 981 near the Xisha Islands in the South China Sea is legal and urged Vietnam to stop disturbing China's exploration activities in its territorial waters.
Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Hua Chunying made the remarks at a regular press conference. Full story
China Focus: China urges Vietnam to respect its sovereign rights over Xisha Islands
BEIJING, May 9 (Xinhua) -- China on Friday again urged Vietnam to respect China's sovereign rights and jurisdiction over the Xisha Islands in the South China Sea and stop provocative actions.
Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Hua Chunying made the remarks at a regular press briefing. Full story