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July 27, 2017

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2 Vietnamese convicted for anti-China riots

HANOI -- Two Vietnamese people were given jail terms of between one and three years Sunday for instigating violence and vandalism in anti-China riots that hit Taiwanese-owned factories in Vietnam in mid-May.

A court in the southern province of Binh Duong sentenced one man by the surname of Le to three years in prison for leading a mob of hundreds to break into a factory and cause damage on May 13.

Le was also accused by the court of attacking security personnel at the plant.

He admitted to the charges at his trial and expressed remorse.

Another defendant, surnamed Chu, was given one year in prison for looting.

Le and Chu were the first among more than 700 people charged in connection with the riots to be tried and convicted.

Tension between Vietnam and China have risen since the latter moved an oil rig into a disputed part of the South China Sea in early May.

Workers took to the streets to protest what they saw as Chinese aggression, and the protests in the southern province turned violent May 13, with rioters looting and setting fire to Chinese- and Taiwanese-owned businesses.

Vietnamese security personnel arrested some 1,036 people in the wake of the riots and indicted more than 700 of them on charges including instigation, damaging property and robbery.

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