A still photo from a video clip featuring a woman burning herself to death to protest China in front of Reunification Palace in Ho Chi Minh City on May 23.
Ho Chi Minh City police stopped a man from setting himself on fire, on Thursday, in protest of China’s violation of Vietnamese waters.
At around 8:30 a.m. the man called Thanh Nien’s hotline to announce that he would burn himself to death to protest China's illegal placement of a mobile oil rig in Vietnamese waters.
He said he would commit the act near a fish pond in 23.9 Park on Pham Ngu Lao Street, District 1.
As soon as he hung up, Thanh Nien informed police in Pham Ngu Lao Ward of the news.
The police soon arrived at the scene.
At around 8:45 a.m. a man dressed in white, carrying two cans of gasoline and some books, showed up. He was about to pour gasoline over his body when the police rushed in to stop him.
The man was later identified as Tran Minh M., 32--a resident of Nguyen Trai Street in District 1. M. told police he was furious with China's illegal rig deployment and wanted to burn himself to death to protest the action.
On May 23, a Buddhist woman burned herself to death in front of Reunification Palace in Ho Chi Minh City at around 6 a.m., startling many passers-by.
Le Truong Hai Hieu, vice chairman of District 1 government, says they believe the suicide was inspired by her anger caused by China's placement of a mobile oil rig in Vietnamese waters.
China positioned the US$1-billion oil rig in Vietnam's exclusive economic zone on May 2 and has sent a fleet of boats, including military vessels, to protect it.
The action has since triggered anti-China protests inside and outside Vietnam, some of which turned violent in mid-May.
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