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Anti-China protests in Vietnam cities fizzle out as government deploys huge security

Published on May 18, 2014 12:32 PM
Policemen try to disperse people protesting near the Embassy of China, in Hanoi, Vietnam, on May 18, 2014. -- PHOTO: EPA

Ho Chi Minh City - Anti-China protests in major Vietnamese cities fizzled out on Sunday under a massive security blanket which saw Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City saturated with police and security personnel from early morning.  

In Ho Chi Minh City, only a few dozen protesters appeared near the Opera House a few blocks from the Chinese consulate, and some were immediately taken away by police. The rest dispersed. 

The area, and the proposed route for the march to proceed to the Chinese consulate, was saturated by police both in uniform and plain clothes, with many seeming nervous and chivying passersby to keep moving. 

 Vietnam technically does not allow any public demonstrations, so all protests are illegal. But in recent weeks it has allowed anti-China protests in the wake of a standoff with China in disputed waters in the South China Sea, which Vietnam calls the East Sea.

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