June 2, 2011
Hanoi - Social network users were on Thursday rallying people to gather in Vietnam for a peaceful protest against China after patrol vessels allegedly damaged and harassed Vietnamese seismic survey ships.
The message calling on people to gather outside Chinese embassy in Hanoi and consulate in Ho Chi Minh City on Sunday was sent via Facebook, text message and personal blogs. It urged people to demonstrate peacefully and bring no weapons.
One blogger suggested protesters carry posters with slogans saying ’Truong Sa (Spratly), Hoang Sa (Paracels) belong to Vietnam’, ’return Truong Sa and Hoang Sa’ and ’China must stop provoking Vietnam’.
The call via social media for protest against China is the second in Vietnam. In December 2007, several hundred protesters staged a rare demonstration outside the embassy to support Vietnam’s claim over the disputed Spratly and Paracel islands.
Last week, three Chinese ships allegedly cut survey cables of a vessel operated by PetroVietnam about 120 nautical miles off the southern Vietnam coast.
Vietnamese media reported another seismic survey ship was harassed by a Chinese vessel in the South China Sea on Tuesday, and Chinese fishing boats were said to be infringing on Vietnamese territory about 40 kilometres off the central province of Da Nang. China warned Vietnam against creating ’new incidents’ in the disputed South China Sea.
China, Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia and Brunei have competing claims to various parts of the South China Sea. The disputed islands and surrounding waters are believed to be rich in fish and mineral resources.
Source: M & C