WASHINGTON — In an unprecedented move, Vietnam’s prime minister sent a mass texts message to millions of citizens to urge them to act in defense of the country.
ABC News ran an Associated Press piece that reported the texts were sent to millions of Vietnamese citizens on a major state-owned cellphone network.
The message was in response to China deploying an oil rig in disputed waters near the Spratly and Paracel Islands on May 1st, upsetting Vietnam. Riots ensued and several people were killed. in the violence. Now, Vietnamese patrol ships are in a standoff situation with Chinese ships protecting the oil rig.
The anti-China protests had began peacefully, but quickly ended in violence and vandalism. At least 400 factories in Vietnam have been destroyed or damaged by mobs, which results in at least one Chinese worker killed and dozens injured at a steel mill. Approximately a thousand disgruntled and angry Vietnamese citizens stormed the factory.
Vietnam and China have disputed the possession of the island chains, along with other Southeast Asian neighbors. China has been aggressive in occupying the disputed islands, which has pushed Asian nations to align with the U.S. against Chinese aggression.