HONG KONG (AP) _ China urged Indonesia Monday to punish rioters who brutalized the country's ethnic Chinese minority during disturbances in May.

Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan Tang told reporters that his government had ``expressed concern'' about the violence against ethnic Chinese women to the Indonesian government.

Tang said that ``the Chinese people and all the Chinese overseas are furious and indignant'' over the recent violence in Indonesia.

He added that he hoped the Indonesian government would investigate and ``take proper measures so that the safety of the ethnic Chinese would be guaranteed.''

Tang made his remarks after arriving in Hong Kong for an overnight stop en route to Beijing.

Earlier, the Chinese Communist Party newspaper People's Daily said that justly treating ethnic Chinese and safeguarding their lives and property would help restore Indonesia's international prestige and attract investment, speeding economic recovery.

About 1,200 people died in the riots in May that led to the downfall of former President Suharto after 32 years in power. Women's groups say at least 168 women were raped by rioters. Many of the victims were from the ethnic Chinese minority, who often are scapegoats in difficult times. Indonesia is undergoing its worst economic crisis in decades.

The Chinese, who make up just 4 percent of Indonesia's 200 million people, are resented in part because they control much of the economy and enjoy relative wealth.

The People's Daily said ethnic Chinese were continuing to make ``unremitting efforts'' to help Indonesia's economy recover.

``As positive, important members of Indonesian society, their legal rights should be respected, their lives and property should be protected effectively,'' the newspaper said.