Vietnam leader sends texts amid South China Seas standoff


BEIJING — Vietnam’s Prime Minister texted millions of citizens late Thursday encouraging them to defend the nation’s sovereignty in a dispute with China over an oil rig that has left at least two Chinese workers dead and injured a 100 more.

Nguyen Tan Dung warned against letting “bad elements” engage in violence, but did not directly condemn anti-China riots that took place in Vietnam this week. Vietnamese authorities have arrested over 600 suspects, but more anti-China protests are planned in Vietnam this weekend.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying accused Hanoi Thursday of “indulgence and connivance” toward the mobs that attacked many Chinese factories in Vietnam on Tuesday and Wednesday. Hundreds of Chinese workers have fled overland to Cambodia or rushed to airports for over-booked flights back to China.

While China and Vietnam are both one-party, nominally socialist states, tensions have long troubled their relationship.


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