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Vietnamese workers protest over Chinese oil rig

SEVERAL thousand Vietnamese workers protested at Chinese-owned factories today, vandalising some of them.

The workers were angry at Beijing's establishment of an oil rig in waters claimed by Vietnam, a factory executive said.

Over the weekend, street demonstrations flared up against China. Protests appeared to be spreading yesterday, targeting foreign investment. They started on Monday night and by yesterday had hit four parks which are home to Chinese and other foreign-owned businesses. Some factories that refused to stop work were vandalised.

Police were present on Tuesday morning, but the protests were continuing.

Photos circulating online showed crowds of people pushing over fences at one industrial park and broken windows at a factory.

Vietnam reacted angrily to the arrival of the deep-sea oil rig on May 1 close to the Paracel Islands, which are controlled by China but claimed by Hanoi.

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