Rare protests erupt in Vietnam over 'maritime territorial disputes' with China

Last Updated: Mon, Dec 10, 2012 08:37 hrs

Rare protests have taken place in Vietnam amid maritime territorial disputes with neighbouring China.

The protests in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi took place as tensions are high after an incident last month in which Hanoi accused Beijing of cutting the cables of a Vietnamese oil exploration ship.

Vietnam is also unhappy at a map in new Chinese passports that shows disputed areas of the South China Sea as Chinese territory, the BBC reports.

According to the report, hundreds of people are reported to have taken part in the protests on Sunday morning against what they see as Chinese aggression and expansionism.

Public demonstrations are extremely rare in Vietnam, where the government makes social and political stability its top priority, the report said.

Vietnam and the Philippines accuse China of growing assertiveness around disputed islands and shoals.

The Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) said Chinese fishing boats had sabotaged one of its oil survey vessels last month in the South China Sea.

According to the report, Vietnam, the Philippines and Taiwan have also complained to China about the new passport map, saying it is an infringement of their sovereignty. (ANI)

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