Incident Group: Crackdown on protesters against China’s activities in Vanguard Bank in August 2019

On July 3, 2019, Chinese survey vessels and coastguard ships entered Vanguard Bank, an area located entirely in Vietnam’s Exclusive Economic Zone, to prevent “Vietnam’s unilateral development of the hydrocarbon resources,” according to Chinese officials. 

The government still tried to cover up information on the issue and the public seemed to be divided on how to respond to the incident. Nevertheless, many small demonstrations to raise public awareness and call for action were carried out in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City,  and Nha Trang, despite protesters facing arbitrary and disproportionate harassment including arrests, administrative fines, and even physical attacks.