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China Evacuates Thousands from Vietnam

  • VOA News

A ship carrying Chinese workers leaves Vung Ang port, Ha Tinh province, Vietnam, May 19, 2014.

A ship carrying Chinese workers leaves Vung Ang port, Ha Tinh province, Vietnam, May 19, 2014.

Thousands of Chinese workers are being evacuated from Vietnam by ship following anti-China rioting last week that left two people dead and more than 140 injured.

China's official Xinhua news agency says two ships left the central Vietnamese port of Vung Ang on Monday carrying 900 passenger each. The report says two more ships with a capacity of 1,000 passengers will leave later Monday.

Hundreds of other Chinese nationals crossed the border into Cambodia last week.

The violence, rare in communist-run Vietnam, erupted after the state-run China energy company CNOOC towed a deep water oil rig to waters near the Paracel Islands claimed to be in Vietnam's exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

Dozens of Chinese, Taiwanese and Korean factories were damaged or looted before police started restoring order late last week. On Sunday, Vietnamese police broke up a planned protest outside the Chinese embassy in Hanoi. The few demonstrators who turned up were quickly surrounded by police.

Philippines tensions

Meanwhile, Philippine President Benigno Aquino is accusing Beijing of violating a non-binding South China Sea agreement by undertaking what appears to be a land reclamation project on a disputed reef.

Aquino told reporters in Manila Monday that China is violating the 2002 Declaration of Conduct, which calls for all parties to refrain from building new structures until territorial disputes are resolved.

He said the incident shows the need to all parties to negotiate a legally binding Code of Conduct in the South China Sea.

China and members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), including Vietnam and the Philippines, signed the non-binding declaration in 2002.

China has overlapping maritime territorial disputes with ASEAN nations Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei and Malaysia.
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