DOZENS of Vietnamese who gathered for an anti-China protest in central Hanoi were taken away by police as they tried to rally support for an international tribunal’s ruling rejecting Beijing’s claims in the South China Sea.
About 30 people were bused away by police from around the landmark Hoan Kiem Lake in the capital even before they began their protest.
ABC reported that security was tight in Hanoi Sunday morning, with plainclothes security officers out in force to monitor any crowds that might be gathering.
The rally was organized by a group opposing China’s expansive claims in the South China Sea.
Anti-China sentiment is high in Vietnam, but authorities act quickly to stifle any public protests.
Earlier this week, The Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration issued the ruling in a case initiated by the Philippines, which together with Vietnam is one of the claimants in the disputed waters.
On Thursday, the Philippines called on China to respect the ruling, in its most strongly worded statement since the decision.
The Chinese government immediately rejected the ruling, saying Beijing does not accept the jurisdiction of the panel.
China “solemnly declares that the award is null and void and has no binding force. China neither accepts nor recognizes it,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.