News / Asia

Deadly Anti-Chinese Riots Spread in Vietnam

A firefighter runs as Taiwanese bicycle factory Tan Than Industries burns in Di An Town, Binh Duong province, May 14, 2014.
A firefighter runs as Taiwanese bicycle factory Tan Than Industries burns in Di An Town, Binh Duong province, May 14, 2014.
Reuters
A huge foreign steel project was set ablaze in Vietnam as riots spread in response to China deploying an oil rig in seas claimed by both countries, with reports of fatalities and hundreds of Chinese workers fleeing tensions in industrialized zones.
 
A doctor at a hospital in central Ha Tinh province on Thursday said five Vietnamese workers and 16 other people described as Chinese were killed in rioting Wednesday night, in one of the worst breakdowns in Sino-Vietnamese relations since the neighbors fought a brief border war in 1979.
 
“There were about a hundred people sent to the hospital last night. Many were Chinese. More are being sent to the hospital this morning,” the doctor at Ha Tinh General Hospital told Reuters by phone.
 
Foreign Ministry spokesman Le Hai Binh confirmed one death in the clashes, describing media reports and accounts on social networking sites of higher casualties as “groundless.”
 
China's state news agency Xinhua reported that at least two Chinese nationals had died and more than 100 were hospitalized.
 
The anti-China riots erupted in industrial zones in the southern part of the country Tuesday to protest Beijing placing an oil rig in a part of the South China Sea claimed by Hanoi.
 
Taiwanese firms, mistaken by the rioters as being owned by mainland Chinese, have borne the brunt of the violence.
 
Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung called on police and state and local authorities to restore order and ensure the safety of people and property.
 
The Planning and Investment Ministry blamed the clashes on “extremists” and warned that they could seriously affect Vietnam’s investment environment.
 
Formosa Plastics Group, Taiwan's biggest investor in Vietnam, said a steel plant under construction in Ha Tinh was set on fire after fighting between its Vietnamese and Chinese workers. One Chinese worker was killed and 90 others injured, it said in a statement in Taipei.
 
It was not immediately clear if the casualties were among those admitted to the Ha Tinh hospital.
 
The plant is expected to be Southeast Asia's largest steel-making facility when it is completed in 2017. No details of fire damage or financial losses were immediately available, the company said.
 
Industrial park an economic mainstay
 
The Ha Tinh industrial park, estimated to cost more than $20 billion, is half built and due to be completed in 2020. Such industrial zones are the backbone of Vietnam's $138 billion economy. The country has 190 registered industrial parks employing about 2.1 million people. Last year, they manufactured products worth $38 billion in exports, or 30 percent of Vietnam's total export revenue.
 
China expressed serious concern over the mayhem and urged Vietnam to punish criminals and compensate victims. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying suggested Hanoi had turned a blind eye to the protesters: “The looting and stealing that has taken place at Chinese businesses and to Chinese people has a direct relationship with Vietnam's winking at and indulging law breakers there.”
 
A top Chinese general defended China's deployment of the oil rig, saying Beijing can't afford to “lose an inch” of territory and blaming Vietnam for stirring up trouble by dispatching ships in an attempt to “disrupt” Chinese activity.
 
“It's quite clear ... who is conducting normal activity and who is disrupting it,” Gen. Fang Fenghui, chief of the general staff of the Chinese army, told a news conference in Washington after talks with senior U.S. military officials.
 
He also said some countries in the region had seized upon President Barack Obama's so-called pivot to Asia, using it as an opportunity to create trouble in the South and East China Seas.
 
A call for calm
 
The U.S. State Department called on all parties to refrain from violence. “While we support people's right to protest, we do not in any way support violence against Chinese-affilliated businesses or firms in Vietnam,” spokeswoman Marie Harf said.
 
Although the two Communist neighbors have close economic and political ties, Vietnamese resentment against China runs deep, rooted in feelings of national pride and the struggle for independence after decades of war and more than 1,000 years of Chinese colonial rule.
 
The dispute in the South China Sea has sparked anger on both sides. Dozens of vessels from the two countries are around the oil rig, and both sides have accused the other of intentional collisions, increasing the risk of a confrontation.
 
Vietnamese are also angered by what they call exploitation of its raw materials and resources by Chinese firms, and say although bilateral trade is over $50 billion annually, Chinese investment in Vietnam is only around $2.3 billion.
 
Chinese workers fleeing
 
Thousands of Vietnamese set fire to foreign factories and rampaged through industrial zones in Binh Duong and Dong Nai provinces near Ho Chi Minh City on Tuesday, officials said. Protests continued on Wednesday.
 
Hundreds of Chinese working in the zones have fled, most to neighboring Cambodia.
 
“Yesterday more than 600 Chinese people from Vietnam crossed at Bavet international checkpoint into Cambodia,” Cambodian National Police spokesman Kirt Chantharith told Reuters.
 
Bavet is on a highway stretching from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam's commercial center, to Cambodia's capital, Phnom Penh.
 
At Ho Chi Minh City airport, scores of Chinese were arriving in large groups, queuing to grab tickets or get on the first flights to Malaysia, Cambodia, Taiwan, Singapore and China.
 
“People don't feel safe here, so we just want to get out of Vietnam,” said Xu Wen Hong, who works for an iron and steel company and bought a one-way ticket to China.
 
In Binh Duong province alone, police said 460 companies had reported some damage to their plants, local media reported.
 
About 600 people were arrested for looting and inciting the crowd, the state-run Thanh Nien (Young People) newspaper quoted  the police chief of Binh Duong province as saying.

You May Like

Turkey's Erdogan: Women Not Equal to Men

Speaking at conference in Istanbul, President Erdogan says Islam has defined a position for women: motherhood More

Ahead of SAARC Summit, Subdued Expectations

Some regional analysts say distrust between Pakistani, Indian officials has slowed SAARC's progress over the year More

Philippines Leery of Development on Reef Reclamation in S. China Sea

Chinese land reclamation projects in area have been ongoing for years, but new satellite imagery reportedly shows China’s massive construction project More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: SEATO
May 16, 2014 8:13 AM
The best and most effective way to prevent further anti-Chinese protests and violence is for China to respect Vietnam's sovereignty and territorial integrity by pulling the oil rig HD981 and all Chinese warships out of Vietnamese waters.Vietnamese government's connivance at letting foreign companies employ so many Chinese labourers in Vietnam's industrial complexes is another contributor to the problem that needs to be dealt with .

Foreign investments are supposed to provide jobs and security for local Vietnamese.No foreign companies should be allowed to bring in large number of Chinese labourers who enjoy better pays,working conditions and preferential treatments,are factors contributing to the riots between Vietnamese and Chinese workers in Ha Tinh province.Job priority should be for the Vietnamese.No concession to China with regards to Job opportunity or sovereignty


by: So So from: US
May 16, 2014 5:06 AM
I think China's next moves may include the turning on of a pit bull named North Korea in the northeast neighborhood by extending the leash a little longer and loosening its collar a little bit wider.

In Response

by: So So from: Dong Nai
May 16, 2014 10:03 AM
... and this time around, Park, Abe and Obama may not hold back.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid