BEIJING, May 20 -- The xenophobic riots in Vietnam have caused great anxiety for Chinese at home amid concern for their countrymen's safety.
Protests targeting foreign companies in southern Vietnamese provinces turned violent last Tuesday, leaving at least two Chinese dead and more than 100 injured.
The incidents have been the most discussed topic on China's social network service.
Chinese netizens wrote a flurry of scathing comments about the Vietnamese government's irresponsibility, with many of the posts also reflecting on geopolitical relations between China and its neighbors.
"Why would the Vietnam government sit back and watch the disturbance? This will only harm Vietnam itself whose economy relies heavily on business with China," Zhu Yuewei said on Sina Weibo, China's equivalent of Twitter.
A total of 3,553 Chinese nationals affected in the violence in Vietnam were heading home on board four Chinese evacuation ships from the central Vietnamese port of Vung Ang on Monday.
"When confronted with danger, we truly feel the worry and care from the motherland and our families. Chinese in Vietnam come back soon and keep everybody safe. I hope the turbulence will pass quickly," wrote another Chinese Weibo user with the screen name "Weifan."
Ray Lui, a popular Hong Kong actor who was born in Vietnam, called a press conference urging the Vietnamese government to abandon its anti-Chinese stance and punish the mobs.
"I am very worried about my sister-in-law and two nephews living in Vietnam. I lived through the chaos and atrocity brought by the Vietnam War in my early life and don't want the tragedy to be repeated," Lui said.
Vietnamese assailants not only targeted mainland Chinese businesses, but also those from Taiwan and Hong Kong.
Luo Yuan, major general and a military critic with the People's Liberation Army, wrote on his personal blog that the Chinese should be united to defend against bullying in Southeast Asia.
He noted that increased risk to national security would require China's newly established national security commission to play a more proactive role in establishing a long-term strategy to defend Chinese interests.
Despite Vietnamese officials' promise to protect the Chinese workers from further harassment, many Chinese netizens still fear Vietnamese citizens' resentment of foreigners may not be dispelled easily and that it may even escalate.
"Tanbaoluo" wrote on Weibo that the riots are not mere consequences of anti-Chinese sentiment but an outcome of internal inequality between different classes in Vietnam, and its stagnating economic reform and development.
So far, 989 Chinese workers from five violence-stricken Chinese companies have arrived at Xiuying Port of Haikou in China's southernmost province of Hainan.
Another three vessels will return by Tuesday afternoon carrying 2,564 Chinese evacuees.