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Published: Friday May 16, 2014 MYT 8:05:02 AM
Updated: Friday May 16, 2014 MYT 8:06:44 AM

China foreign minister condemns Vietnam over violent riots in urgent phone call

Fire is seen at a damaged Chinese owned shoe factory in Vietnam's southern Binh Duong province May 14, 2014. REUTERS/Thanh Tung Truong

Fire is seen at a damaged Chinese owned shoe factory in Vietnam's southern Binh Duong province May 14, 2014. REUTERS/Thanh Tung Truong

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China's foreign minister condemned Vietnam in an urgent phone call with the Southeast Asian country's deputy prime minister over anti-Chinese protests that have killed up to 21 people, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Friday.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi told Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Binh Minh in the call on Thursday night that "Vietnam bears unshirkable responsibility for the violent attacks against Chinese companies and nationals", the report said.

China also sent a working group, led by Assistant Foreign Minister Liu Jianchao, to Vietnam on Thursday to deal with the aftermath of the riots, Xinhua said.

Wang demanded Vietnam take resolute and effective measures immediately to stop violence and ensure the safety of the lives and property of Chinese nationals and companies there.

Anti-China riots broke out this week in Vietnam, killing up to 21 people. Factories perceived to have been Chinese-owned were also set alight after China towed a giant oil rig into waters claimed by both nations.

(Reporting by Kazunori Takada; Editing by Paul Tait)

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