Vietnam: the “Facebook effect” Inflaming Tensions With China

The Vietnamese expressed anger against China without restraint on social networks like Facebook for several days, stoking tensions that have caused incidents between the two rivals played around archipelagos in the South China Sea.

Last Sunday, when the largest anti-Chinese demonstration in four years, some 300 people had gathered outside the Chinese embassy in Hanoi to denounce what they regard as an “invasion ” of Chinese vessels.

A similar gathering was held in Ho Chi Minh City, the largest city in the south. Both events apparently launched via social networks on the Internet, the authoritarian government in Hanoi allowed this to happen.

On Facebook, messages have denounced the “cancer”from the influx of Chinese goods and the behavior of “pirates” of the Chinese in the disputed waters.

“I think Facebook is the major channel of communication” for this mobilization, “said one protester, saying the public wanted the government to adopt a “hard line “against Beijing.