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China expresses 'serious concerns' over Vietnam rampage

Published on May 14, 2014 4:22 PM

BEIJING (AFP) - Beijing expressed "serious concerns" on Wednesday over protests in Vietnam that saw more than a dozen factories set on fire by anti-China demonstrators enraged over its deployment of an oil rig in disputed waters.

China had made "solemn representations" and asked Vietnam to take all necessary steps to stop and punish the crimes, foreign ministry spokesman Hua Chunying told reporters at a regular briefing.

"China expresses serious concerns about the incident," Ms Hua said. The foreign ministry "launched solemn representations with the Vietnamese ambassador to China, urging the Vietnamese side to immediately take effective steps to resolutely stop and punish these crimes, and to ensure the safety of Chinese citizens and institutions in Vietnam," she added.

China and Vietnam are locked in a long-standing territorial dispute in the South China Sea over islands and waters which both countries claim.

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