PHNOM PENH (REUTERS) - Hundreds of Chinese nationals have fled to Cambodia to escape anti-China riots in Vietnam in which at least two people are reported to have died.
"Yesterday more than 600 Chinese people from Vietnam crossed at Bavet international checkpoint into Cambodia," National Police spokesman Kirt Chantharith told Reuters on Thursday.
"They are at guest houses and hotels in Phnom Penh, with around 100 people staying in Bavet town," he added. "After the situation calms down, they may go back to Vietnam or to other places."
Bavet is on a highway stretching from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam's commercial centre, to Cambodia's capital, Phnom Penh.
Thousands of Vietnamese set fire to foreign factories and rampaged through industrial zones in the south of the country in an angry reaction to Chinese oil drilling in a part of the South China Sea claimed by Vietnam.
Xinhua news agency reported that two Chinese workers died, one at a Taiwanese steel plant in central Vietnam and the other at a bicycle parts factory in the south. Vietnam reported one fatality.
China’s embassy in Vietnam on Thursday urged the country’s public security authorities to take “effective measures” to protect its nationals’ personal safety and legal rights.
The embassy made the remark in a statement published on its website, adding that China had launched an emergency mechanism to cope with the effects of anti-Chinese riots in its southern neighbour.