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Chinese evacuated from Vietnam

May 18, 2014

China has evacuated more than 3,000 of its nationals from Vietnam in the wake of anti-China unrest, according to state media. Tensions have been on the rise since Beijing's deployment of an oil rig in contested waters.

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More than 3,000 Chinese nationals have been evacuated from Vietnam, China's official state Xinhua news agency reported early Sunday.

"They returned to China with the assistance of (the) Chinese Embassy to Vietnam," the agency said, citing China's Foreign Ministry.

Beijing on Saturday advised its nationals against traveling to Vietnam, which has over the past week seen its worst anti-China unrest in decades.

The turmoil began in early May when China positioned an oil rig in waters also claimed by Vietnam in the South China Sea. The move intensified long-simmering hostility between the two communist neighbors including skirmishes between Chinese and Vietnamese vessels near the controversial rig.

Violence has also spread across Vietnam in the last week with mobs of workers torching foreign-owned factories in protest. Beijing has said two Chinese nationals were killed and more than 100 injured in the violence over the past week.

"Recently, there was an explosion of violence in South Vietnam targeting foreign companies, provoking injuries and death of Chinese citizens and damaging companies' properties," China's Foreign Ministry said in a statement on its website Saturday.

Vietnamese authorities warned they would act to prevent any further outbursts. On Saturday, the government sent a text message to Vietnamese mobile phone users that said Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung had given orders to authorities to "implement measures to resolutely prevent illegal demonstrations that could cause social and security disorder."

Meanwhile, Vietnamese civil society groups on Saturday called for fresh demonstrations in the capital Hanoi, the southern economic hub of Ho Chi Minh City, and other areas against China's "aggressive actions" in the disputed waters of the South China Sea.

hc/crh (AFP, Xinhua)

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