Hanoi's plan to lease out 3 strategic locations in Vietnam to Chinese foreign investors for 99 years has met with fierce resistance from the people in Vietnam and abroad.

Waves of unprecedented demonstrations have taken place on Saturday, June 9 and continued into the next day throughout Vietnam with even greater ferocity. It has been observed that this is the first time in the history of the communist's ruling in Vietnam, there has ever been demonstration with such magnitude in Vietnam, especially in the South due to Vietnam's worst record of clamps down on protestors.

At dawn of Sunday June 10, 2018, thousands of peasants, and workers from the town of Phan Rí Cửa, Tuy Phong District in the Bình Thuận Province, where the second largest Marian site in Vietnam is located, gathered to protest along the National Highway No. 1. Demonstrations have erupted in the region for months where pollution, caused by a Chinese electric generator factory, has stripped hillsides bare of vegetation and left scores of children with dangerously high levels of lead in their blood. Vietnamese government ignores their concerns and even goes further with a plan to lease the nearby region to China for 99 years.

The crowd swelled up quickly to multiples of ten thousand. A large number of police were sent to disperse them by force. Protesters fought back fiercely and blocked the highway until late at night, effectively paralysed traffics between North and South Vietnam.

While police put great effort to clear the highway, at 5pm, thousands of angry protesters gathered in front of the Bình Thuận’s People’s Committee complex. A large of bystanders joined them. Violence erupted after plainclothes police dragged dozens of peaceful protesters away and move them to inside the government complex. Demonstrators had clashed with the security guards for hours before taking control of the complex and began to ransack and set on fire vehicles and buildings. This is the first time ever in the history of the communists’ ruling in Vietnam that violence aimed directly to government properties at such a magnitude occurs.

On Monday morning, state-run media announced that 102 people participating in the demonstrations in Bình Thuận province were arrested.

In the Minh Cầm deanery of the diocese of Vinh, Mgr. Cao Đình Thuyên, Emeritus Bishop of Vinh, and all priests in the deanery took part in a protest right after the Sunday Mass holding placards reading “Protest against the draft law on special economic zones” and “Protest against leasing land to China”.

“With our social responsibility and with due respect, after carefully listening to the heartfelt and science-based feedbacks from the professionals, and understanding the majority's collective worries, we suggest the National Assembly to respect the aspiration of the people and cancel the draft the law on special economic zones,” said the prelate.

Protests also erupt simultaneously in all major metropolitans and at various smaller towns. Tens of thousands of determined citizens from all walks of life had taken to the streets of Hà Nội, Đà Nẵng, Nha Trang, Phan Thiết, Sàigòn, Hố Nai, Mỹ Tho to express their outrage toward the National Congress' plan to vote on restriction of the internet usage and conceding 3 economic hubs in strategic areas of Vân Đồn (North), Bắc Vân Phong (Central) and Phú Quốc (South) to become Chinese autonomous territories for 99 years. Particularly, the draft law called Special Administrative-Economic Zone Law” (commonly known as the Special Zone Law) which comes with great incentives and administrative power was feared by the Vietnamese to be actually military hubs in disguise to provide access to the Chinese aggression in the region as similar ones already established in Cambodia and Sri Lanka for the same purpose. The laws supposed to be passed on June 15 despite many voices of opposition coming from the public many of whom are notables, intellectuals, and religious leaders at home and abroad.

At 3 am on June 9 the government issued a surprising decision to postpone the voting on the “Special Zone Law” but keep the internet censorship law on schedule. The “internet security law” is the spitting image of the Chinese law on the similar issue, would put internet users on severe restrictions which force users to provide personal information and all access to political blogs, Google and Facebook are blocked. In addition, all servers are to be based in Vietnam, and any information is subject to censorship. This has been viewed by many as last straw that breaks the camel's back, sparking outcries from the netizens and concerns from Human Rights Watch and the US Embassy in Vietnam.

On Sunday June 10, there were also numerous demonstration in San Francisco, Taiwan, Australia by the Vietnamese overseas to show support and solidarity with the people inside Vietnam.