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China and Vietnam blame each other for high sea rammings as protests escalate

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China and Vietnam blame each other for high sea rammings as protests escalate


Anti-China protests in the south of Vietnam have turned violent. Protesters are angry about a Chinese oil rig drilling in waters claimed by Vietnam.

Taiwanese companies bore the brunt of a late-night ambush as rioters mistook firms to be Chinese-owned.

Thousands of Vietnamese rioters stormed through industrial zones breaking windows, damaging property and setting fire to buildings.

China claims almost the entire South China Sea, an important shipping route which is rich in energy deposits.

Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have claims on the area.

“Who is the attacker and who is the victim here? Who wants to make the current state of affairs quickly calm down? And who wants to escalate the situation?,” asked Hua Chunying, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson.

“I think this is perfectly obvious […] I’m afraid it is difficult to deny Vietnam’s role as instigator,” Chunying added.

Vietnam claims the Chinese rig is in Vietnamese waters,condemning it as illegal.

China says the rig is completely in its waters.

Beijing and Hanoi each accuse the other of ramming its ships in the disputed seas.

China says it had acted with the “utmost restraint” when it used water cannons in response to rammings it blamed on Vietnam.

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