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China dispatches evacuation ships to Vietnam

Riot policemen keep guard at an industrial zone in Vietnam's southern Binh Duong province Credit: Reuters

China has dispatched five ships to Vietnam to speed up the process of evacuating its citizens following deadly anti-Chinese riots over Beijing's deployment of an oil rig in disputed territorial waters, news agencies are reporting.

China's foreign ministry says more than 3,000 Chinese have already been evacuated from Vietnam following the riots this week that left two Chinese dead and injured about 100 others.

A damaged Chinese owned shoe factory is seen in Vietnam's southern Binh Duong province. Credit: Reuters

Vietnam ordered a stop to anti-China protests and in the capital, Hanoi, police today pushed away a handful of protesters and journalists in front of the Chinese Embassy.

Vietnam has protested against China's positioning of the oil rig in the South China Sea and has sent ships to confront China's vessels.

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US state department monitoring events in Vietnam

The US State Department said it was monitoring events in Vietnam closely, and urged restraint from all parties.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said:

We support the right of individuals to assemble peacefully to protest.

(Such disputes) need to be resolved through dialogue, not through intimidation

We again urge dialogue in their resolution.

– White House spokesman Jay Carney

The current crisis erupted within days of a week-long visit to Asia by President Barack Obama in late April in which he pledged that Washington would live up to its obligation to defend its allies in the region.

20 dead after violent Vietnamese anti-China protests

Twenty people were killed and rioters attacked Vietnam's biggest steel plant overnight, as violent anti-China protests spread to the centre of the country.

The escalation comes a day after arson and looting in the south, a doctor and newspapers said on Thursday.

A damaged sign of a Chinese factory is seen in Vietnam's southern Binh Duong province. Credit: Reuters

Hundreds of Chinese had apparently fled Vietnam, either by air or by crossing into neighbouring Cambodia, reports said, after one of the worst breakdowns in Sino-Vietnamese relations since the neighbours fought a brief border war in 1979.

A doctor at a hospital in central Ha Tinh province told Reuters "about a hundred people" were sent to the hospital in the night with many being "Chinese".

The brunt of the violence has been borne by Taiwanese firms, mistaken by the rioters to be owned by mainland Chinese.

Search for botanist missing for five weeks in Vietnam

A search has been launched to find a botanist who has been missing in Vietnam for more than five weeks. Jamie Taggart, from Argyll and Bute in Scotland, failed to return from a plant-hunting trip to the northern mountainous region earlier this month.

Jamie Taggart has been missing for five weeks. Credit: Glasgow Caledonian University/PA Wir

Inquiries by his family revealed that the 41-year-old had not been seen since November 2, when his rucksack and passport were found at a guest house in the town of Sapa.

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Thirteen killed after Haiyan hits Vietnam coast

Thirteen people were killed and dozens hurt during heavy winds and storms in Vietnam as Haiyan approached the coast, state media reported, even though it had weakened substantially after hitting the Philippines.

A man sits at his damaged shop in the aftermath of typhoon Haiyan in Vietnam's northern Quang Ninh province. Credit: Reuters
Women and children evacuate on a boat in the aftermath of typhoon Haiyan in Vietnam's northern Quang Ninh province. Credit: Reuters

Vietnam's military mastermind dies at 102

General Giap led Vietnam's military victories over France and the US. Credit: Reuters/Kham

General Vo Nguyen Giap, architect of Vietnam's military victories over France and the United States, died on Friday, aged 102, family members said.

The general was one of Vietnam's best known 20th century figures, ranked by historians among such military giants as Montgomery, Rommel and MacArthur.

Giap, here with British General Sir Michael Jackson, was considered a leading military figure. Credit: Reuters

The son of a peasant scholar, he was considered the mastermind of the historic defeat of the French in 1954 at Dien Bien Phu and the communist victory over U.S.-backed South Vietnam 21 years later.

In 1968, he oversaw the Tet Offensive against US forces, the initiative seen as one of the factors that led to the Americans' withdrawal.

He died Friday evening after several years in a Hanoi military hospital.

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