The banners, T-shirts and handwritten posters said it all. "China! Hands off Vietnam!" read one. "Shame on you, bastard neighbour," said another. "Stop escalating, invading the East Sea of Vietnam," a third declared.
As the protesters weaved their way through the crowded streets of Hanoi, past the peeling colonial villas and upmarket shops selling stereos and Versace, they charged towards the Chinese embassy, where they hoped to make a stand against what they call "China's constant aggression".