Trade between China and Vietnam will suffer if the violence targeting foreign firms in Vietnam escalates, an official of China's Ministry of Commerce (MOC) said on Tuesday.
Zhang Ji, head of the MOC's foreign trade department, made the remarks when responding to a question at a press conference on detailed rules to boost foreign trade.
The deadly violence have already brought about enormous economic losses. If it further escalates, it will not only hurt the Chinese people's feelings but also the confidence of companies from both China and Vietnam, Zhang told reporters.
"This would definitely damage the healthy development of China-Vietnam trade, which China is unwilling to see, and will also be detrimental to the Vietnamese economy," the official added.
Trade between China and Vietnam has grown rapidly. Bilateral trade between the two countries totaled 65.5 billion U.S. dollars in 2013, up 30 percent year on year, Zhang said, citing figures from China's customs authorities.
"China has been the largest trade partner of Vietnam for many years in a row. This is the result of common efforts by both countries for years and has not been an easy task to fulfill," Zhang said.
"China solemnly urges the Vietnamese side to properly handle the incident, make sure similar cases do not happen again and take practical measures to redress the serious consequences it has caused for Chinese companies," he said.
At least two Chinese were killed and more than 100 others injured during last week's protests against foreign companies in central and southern Vietnamese provinces. The injured have been flown home aboard chartered flights.
Meanwhile, China has advised its nationals against travelling to Vietnam due to safety concerns and has suspended part of its bilateral exchange plans with Hanoi.
In addition to Chinese companies, a large number of plants from the Republic of Korea (ROK), Japan and Singapore also fell prey to Vietnamese mobs, with their factories forced to shut down.