Beijing, May 20 (IANS/EFE): Trade between China and Vietnam will suffer if the violence targetting Chinese companies escalates in Vietnam, the Chinese government said Tuesday.
Zhang Ji, head of the Chinese ministry of commerce's foreign trade department, said recent incidents "have already caused enormous economic losses" and if this continues, it will not only hurt the Chinese people's sentiments but also the investors' confidence.
"Recent violent incidents will undoubtedly damage the bilateral trade, which China is unwilling to see, and will only be detrimental to the Vietnamese economy," Zhang added.
Bilateral trade between China and Vietnam totalled $50,000 million by the end of 2013, according to data released by the state media.
The violent protests were sparked off in Vietnam after China moved its oil-rig around the disputed Paracel islands.
In the aftermath, scores of protestors damaged over hundreds of factories and torched around 15 others in the Ha Tinh province of central Vietnam.
The demonstrations left two Chinese nationals dead and over 100 injured.
The Vietnamese government Sunday called for a clampdown on anti-China protests calling them "illegal acts of violence" that could harm national stability.
The steps came after Beijing had accused Hanoi of "collusion" with the demonstrations.
Since the attacks broke out, China has pulled out over 7,000 nationals from Vietnam, and has expressed its intention of shelving some of the bilateral trade projects without specifying the sectors that will be affected and from when.