China began evacuating hundreds of its nationals from Vietnam (via at least 2 planes and 5 ships) as the anti-China protests have become increasingly deadly following Beijing’s attempt to deploy an oil drill in Vietnamese disputed waters (detailed hereherehere, and here)…

 

  • *CHINA SENDING 5 SHIPS TO VIETNAM TO EVACUATE CHINESE: XINHUA

 

  • *HUNDREDS OF VIETNAMESE SECURITY IN CENTRAL HO CHI MINH CITY

 

  • *VIETNAM PRIME MINISTER ISSUES DIRECTIVE TO PREVENT PROTESTS

 

  • *VIETNAM GOVT TAKES ACTION TO PREVENT RIOTS: BINH

 

Hundreds of police and security forces are in central Ho Chi Minh city and the Chinese consulate is under heavy guard. Tensions across the ASEAN region are growung as Taiwan is on “high alert” but the bloc’s inability to craft a united response to Chinese aggression signals a further decline in its regional clout.

The Vietnamese government has called for an end to the protests…

Vietnam’s prime minister appealed for calm last night ahead of expected anti-China demonstrations in Ho Chi Minh City today.

A text message from Nguyen Tan Dung was sent to every cellphone in the country urging citizens not to “commit violations of the law” in defence of the “sovereignty of the sacred fatherland”.

His office also ordered the police and local leaders to halt further illegal demonstrations. His plea came after China’s deployment of an oil rig in the disputed Paracel Islands in the South China Sea unleashed a wave of deadly protests.

But the Chinese are clearly not leaving anything to chance… (Via PTI)

More than 3,000 Chinese nationals have been evacuated so far from Vietnam after the recent deadly violence, China’s Foreign Ministry said today.

They returned to China with the assistance of Chinese Embassy to Vietnam, the Foreign Ministry said in a press release.

China says two of its nationals were killed in the violence and more than 100 others injured while the official death toll was put at 21.

Via 2 Planes…

and 5 ships…

China is to send five ships to Vietnam today to evacuate Chinese nationals after protests against Chinese in the country last week, the official Xinhua News Agency reports in a one-paragraph report, citing the Ministry of Transport

The official death toll is unclear…

  • *VIETNAM CONFIRMS 2 CHINESES DIE IN RIOT, ABOUT 140 INJURED

The tension is spreading across the ASEAN region…

*TAIWAN ON HIGH ALERT OVER PROTESTS IN VIETNAM TODAY

And the lackluster response from ASEAN is extremely serious… (via The Diplomat)

As Vietnamese and Chinese ships jostled and fired water cannons at each other – the best ASEAN could do was issue another summit statement urging restraint and expressing “serious concern,” timidly avoiding any mention of China.

Furious protesters have trashed 15 Chinese factories in Vietnam, forcing Chinese investors and tourists to flee across the border and into the safety of Cambodia. Golfers in Danang reported fighter jets overhead, heading out to sea.

Observers said it was the first time Vietnam had allowed the state-run press to freely cover the protests, which the government also allowed to proceed. However, Singapore-based Channel News Asia was taken off the air after flagging a report on the protests.

At least 200 people have been arrested and the Vietnamese government has pledged to crack down on hooliganism.

“It is clear that China’s new assertiveness is triggering anxieties among its neighbors,” said  Ernest Bower, of the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

ASEAN has long been ridiculed as a toothless tiger and its behavior amid the current standoff between China and Vietnam – perhaps the greatest challenge to face the group – only reinforces the claims.

If ASEAN genuinely wants to be taken seriously, now might be an appropriate time for a united public front on China’s territorial ambitions in the seas that divide the bloc’s 10 nations. If it is unable to do that, then individual member states face the daunting task of dealing with Beijing on their own, further relegating ASEAN to the political sidelines and undermining its diplomatic credentials.

The bloc’s inability to craft a united response to Chinese aggression signals a further decline in its regional clout.


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