China Vietnam
A Vietnamese sinking boat (L) which was rammed and then sunk by Chinese vessels near disputed Paracels IslandsReuters

China has demanded that Vietnam pay compensation for damage inflicted during anti-Chinese riots in Vietnam in May.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said China is yet to receive any payments after protesters rampaged, looted and set fire to Chinese-owned factories and other businesses that they mistook for Chinese firms.

Four people were killed in the violence and thousands of Chinese workers were evacuated.

"As of today, Vietnam has not provided any compensation at all," said Hong Lei.

"We demand that Vietnam take earnest steps to guarantee the safety of Chinese bodies and personnel in Vietnam, severely punish the assailants who created the disturbances and fully compensate the losses of Chinese companies and individuals," he added.

The riots were triggered by a territorial dispute between the two countries in the South China Sea. China deployed a massive oil rig in waters also claimed by Vietnam, leading to clashes at sea and huge anti-China riots that spread throughout Vietnam.

China claims nearly all of the resource-rich South China Sea, rejecting claims to parts of the sea from the Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei.

Beijing has repeatedly called on Hanoi to compensate Chinese businesses since the riots took place.