Anti-China protests continue in Vietnam

By REUTERS
June 12, 2011 09:09

 
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HANOI - Vietnamese authorities tolerated a second day of anti-China protests in the capital on Sunday as more than 100 people demonstrated against what they see as bullying behavior by Beijing in an escalating row over maritime territory.

In a park in front of the Chinese embassy the demonstrators waved flags, sang patriotic songs and chanted "Down with China!" and "The Spratlys and Paracels belong to Vietnam", referring to archipelagos in the South China Sea.

China and Vietnam have tussled in recent weeks over long-standing maritime disputes in the South China Sea and, though a military clash seems unlikely, the tensions could trouble regional diplomacy and possibly draw in the United States, which took up the South China Sea dispute last year.

The South China Sea is crossed by key shipping lanes and believed to hold potentially large oil and gas reserves. The Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan also have claims to parts of the sea's 648,000 square miles (1.7 million sq km).

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