Home > News > Regional
Monday January 20, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Monday January 20, 2014 MYT 8:35:21 AM
HANOI: Activists chanted anti-China slogans and laid flowers at a protest in Hanoi marking the 40th anniversary of the Chinese invasion of contested islands in the South China Sea.
In 1974, as US troops withdrew from Vietnam, China invaded the Paracel Islands, which were held by the US-backed South Vietnamese regime.
More than 70 Vietnamese soldiers died during the invasion and China has controlled the island chain ever since.
The two countries are locked in long-standing territorial disputes over the Paracel and Spratly islands, which both claim, and often trade diplomatic barbs over oil exploration and fishing rights in the contested waters.
Yesterday, dozens of activists laid flowers at a statue of Ly Thai To – the founder of Hanoi and a nationalist figurehead – in the centre of the capital.
Activists waved banners and shouted “Hoang Sa (Paracels), Truong Sa (Spratlys) belong to Vietnam!” before hundreds of uniformed and plain clothed police forced them to leave the area.
“We gathered here to commemorate the event... Forty years ago the Chinese invaded the island and killed many Vietnamese soldiers,” academic Nguyen Quang A said at the event.
The protest was the first display of public discontent in Hanoi this year against Beijing’s perceived aggression over territory, following a handful of anti-China demonstrations last year which were broken up by authorities.
“The government of Vietnam is in a very difficult situation,” Quang A said, calling the heavy police presence at the event “ridiculous”.
“The memory of the people of Vietnam is vivid. Nobody can eradicate that memory,” he said. — AFP
Tags / Keywords:
Not ideal preparations for national women’s hockey team in Delhi
What's the average size of a penis?
Sri Lanka’s batting brilliance blows England away
Retiree roars high with unique tiger kite design
World Cancer Day 2015 shares messages of optimism, courage and hope
Euro zone rebuffs Spanish talk of new Greek bailout
EU defence industry seen threatened by fall in research spending
Islamic State will 'stop at nothing' to boost Libya presence - U.N.
Ten migrants die in Mediterranean, 1,100 rescued
Malaysians abroad share how they celebrate our local festivals
8 Incredible food and wine adventures you can do in Australia!
Apple edges out Samsung in global smartphone sales
Third-tier Bielefeld stun in-form Werder in German Cup
Support for new modern research hospital
Copyright © 1995-2015 Star Publications (M) Bhd (Co No 10894-D)