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Vietnamese protest against China over sea dispute

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December 8, 2012 09:45 PM EST | AP

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HANOI, Vietnam — A group of Vietnamese have demonstrated against China amid rising tensions over Beijing's claims to the South China Sea.

The protest Sunday by about 150 people was watched over by police.

Anger at China is a sensitive issue for Vietnam's fellow communist rulers, which are worried that popular ire at Beijing could also be directed at them.

Vietnam and China have long sparred over who owns the South China Sea, but America's diplomatic tilt to Southeast Asia and China's growing assertiveness has focused attention on the issue.

Vietnam last week alleged that Chinese shipping vessels sabotaged one of its seismic survey vessels in the South China Sea.

China's recent issuing of new passports containing a map showing the sea as belonging to it has also caused anger in Hanoi.