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HANOI: Vietnam broke up anti-China rallies in its two main cities and arrested around 20 people yesterday, activists said, in the latest protests against Beijing as tensions flare over the South China Sea.
Around 200 protesters, some waving banners and chanting “Down with China’s aggression!”, were intercepted by security forces as they tried to approach the Chinese embassy in the capital.
Activists at the scene said that the 20 demonstrators were rounded up into a bus after the half-hour rally, the fifth such display of public discontent in Hanoi this year against Beijing’s perceived aggression in the sea.
The protestors were taken to Loc Ha detention centre on the outskirts of Hanoi, one activist said on condition of anonymity. “I’m detained. And they’ve jammed my mobile phone,” the activist said via text message. They could not be reached for further questions.
Security forces also broke up a similar anti-China protest also attended by hundreds of people in the southern economic hub of Ho Chi Minh City, eyewitnesses said, after Hanoi and Beijing traded barbs over the neighbours’ conflicting territorial claims.
China arrests two for inciting self-immolations
BEIJING: A monk and his nephew were detained for inciting eight Tibetan people to set themselves on fire in a restive Chinese region that has become a flashpoint for protests against Beijing’s rule, state media said yesterday.
Police in southwest China’s Sichuan Province, which has a large ethnic Tibetan population, detained a 40-year-old monk named as Lorang Konchok for “goading” the protests, which resulted in three deaths, Xinhua said.
He was held at Kirti Monastery in Aba County, which has been the focal point of a crackdown on separatism since anti-Chinese riots rocked the Tibetan plateau in 2008.