Anti-China protestors who gathered in the Vietnamese capital on Sunday to lay wreaths at a famous statue saw their plans cut short when a group of ballroom dancers and an energetic aerobics class suddenly infiltrated the scene, shooing them away as they tried to get close to the statue. Demonstrators believe that the government deployed the dancers as a way to foil their protests and make their speeches inaudible.
The Associated Press reports that around 70 protesters took part in the rally in downtown Hanoi to mark the 35th anniversary of the border war between China and Vietnam. They shouted anti-China slogans and took photos to be posted on dissident websites.
Nguyuen Quang A, a well-known dissident, said that the government then sent out the dancers at the statue of Ly Thai To as a low-key approach to police the event and avoid confrontation. He said that he asked the dancers to stop for a few minutes but they refused him.
After some 90 minutes, demonstrators found a way to lay their wreaths at the statue before leaving the scene.