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Chinese flee Vietnam as tensions, unrest grow

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Chinese flee VietnamFive ships will join in the evacuation of Chinese nationals from Vietnam after more than 3,000 fled the nation following deadly anti-China riots there last week over a Chinese oil rig deployed in nearby contested waters.

Police and security officers in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi and in southern Ho Chi Minh City halted anti-China protests Sunday, unlike the previous weekend when similar protests were permitted. Authorities in one-party Vietnam rarely allow public demonstrations, but nationalist, China-related protests sometimes prove an exception.

The crackdown Sunday, enforced by thousands of police and security officers, suggests Hanoi wants to avoid further antagonizing its far larger neighbor, despite the official and widespread public anger in Vietnam over recent Chinese moves in the South China Sea, which U.S. officials have also described as "provocative."

Two Chinese workers were killed midweek, and more than 100 injured as mobs targeted Chinese factories and Taiwanese factories employing Chinese workers. In a bid to reassure nervous foreign investors, top Vietnamese security official Lt. Gen. Hoang Kong Tu vowed Saturday to ensure the safety of all foreign citizens and investments in the country, including from China. Over 1,000 suspects have been arrested in connection with the attacks, which authorities have blamed on extremists.


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