Vietnam’s prime minister calls for end to protests
HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — Vietnam’s prime minister ordered an end today to all “illegal protests” in the country after a week of violent demonstrations against China’s deployment of an oil rig in a disputed section of the South China Sea.
Last weekend, Vietnam’s government took the unusual step of allowing anti-China street protests — a move widely seen as way for the authoritarian state to show its displeasure with Beijing for positioning the oil rig on May 1 in strategic waters claimed by both countries.
In a text message to millions of people today, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said the Ministry of Public Security and provincial governments had been ordered to “conduct concerted and determined measures not to allow illegal protests that cause security and social order disturbances.”
All protests are technically illegal in Vietnam.