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Protests break out in Vietnam over China oil rig issue

Published on May 11, 2014 12:47 PM
Protesters hold a big banner which reads 'Strongly oppose and demand China to stop Illegal actions in Vietnam waters' during a rally against China in Hanoi, Vietnam, on May 11, 2014.  -- PHOTO: EPA

HANOI (AFP) - Protesters staged one of Vietnam's largest ever anti-China demonstrations on Sunday, decrying Beijing's deployment of a deep-water drilling rig in contested waters as territorial tensions soar.

Some 1,000 people, from war veterans to students, waved banners saying "China don't steal our oil" and "Silence is cowardly" - a dig at Hanoi's handling of the dispute - and sang patriotic songs in a park opposite the Chinese Embassy.

"This is the largest anti-Chinese demonstration I have ever seen in Hanoi," said war veteran Dang Quang Thang, 74.

"Our patience has limits. We are here to express the will of the Vietnamese people to defend our territory at all costs. We are ready to die to protect our nation," he told AFP.

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