07/18/2016, 14.51
VIETNAM - CHINA
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Hanoi arrests dozens of activists for protesting against Chinese imperialism on the seas

by Thanh Nhan

Patriots and nationalists demonstrated in the capital and in Ho Chi Minh City. The protest  Beijing’s failure to respect the ruling on the disputed territories in the South China Sea. Hanoi fears that the demonstrations may turn against government. Vietnamese broadcaster cancels Chinese TV series: the actors signed a pro-Beijing petition.

Hanoi (AsiaNews) - The Vietnamese security forces arrested dozens of activists who organized anti-Chinese demonstrations in the capital and in Ho Chi Minh City, the southern metropolis of the country. The nationalist groups and Vietnamese patriots protest Beijing’s decision not to enforce the Permanent Court of Arbitration (CPA) ruling on the Law of the Sea. Hanoi authorities fear that the demonstrations against China might lead to a protest movement against the Vietnamese communist government, still tied hand in glove with its big brother China.

Last week the judges of the Hague Tribunal have established that China "has no right" to sovereignty over disputed territories in Asia-Pacific. However, the government in Beijing announced on several occasions not it will not abide by the arbitration judgment promoted by the Philippines, because issued by a "failed" court.

Hence the decision of activists and nationalist groups in Vietnam to launch protests against China. Yesterday demonstrations were held in different points of Hanoi suppressed by force by the authorities. Dozens of plainclothes policemen patrolled the streets of the capital, ready to intervene in case of any gatherings.

In the morning at least 30 activists who had gathered near Lake Hoan Kiem,wher many past protests took place, were forcibly loaded on board buses and cars. Some of them were shouting "Down with China" during the arrest.

A few hours later another nine activists were taken as they demonstrated outside the Philippines embassy. One of them brandished a sign that read "Thank you Philippines. You have a courageous government. "

In the past, the Vietnamese nationalist groups and ordinary citizens took to the streets to protest against Beijing's "imperialist" policy in the region's seas. The Hanoi government has repressed the demonstrations on several occasions, while countering the Chinese designs on the region and raising international protests over the disputed missile installations on the atolls.

Meanwhile, TV broadcasters in Bình Thuận province have decided to suspend a popular TV series, because its actors have expressed public support for the Beijing positions on the South China Sea. The TV series "New Port of Tianjin", produced in China, was discontinued on July 6 after transmitting 20 of the 40 planned episodes.

Đặng K., deputy station manager, confirms that the two lead actors and other people in the cast "have signed a petition in support of the Chinese government" in contrast with "the CPA decision. The actors and actresses who support China's position, says the head of Bình Thuận province TV, "have every right to love their country" as "we have the right and the will to protect ours".

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