Beijing is sending ships and chartered flights to Vietnam to help evacuate Chinese workers following days of fierce rioting, mainly around industrial parks at Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon..

The move comes as anti-Chinese protests continue to snowball, claiming at least two lives and injuring dozens of others over Beijing's oil drilling in disputed territorial waters in the South China Sea.

China's ministry of transport said in a statement that the first ship has already left Haikou, reports the state-run Xinhua.

More than 3,000 Chinese nationals have already been evacuated from Vietnam with the assistance of China's diplomatic mission, said the country's foreign ministry.

Rescue vessels and a helicopter are on standby to provide support if necessary.

Civil society groups in Vietnam have called for fresh protests, increasing fears that the situation could worsen. The Vietnamese government has called on the groups to end the protests, and officials said the "illegal acts" would be halted.

Talks held by top Chinese and Vietnamese foreign ministry officials have failed to yield any breakthrough.

"We are strongly dissatisfied by the Vietnamese side failure to respond effectively to curb an escalation," said security chief Guo Shengkun.