News / Asia

1000 Taiwan-backed Businesses Reported Affected by Vietnam Protests

A man looks at the damaged building of Taiwanese bicycle factory Tan Than in Di An Town, Binh Duong Province, Vietnam, Wednesday, May 14, 2014.
A man looks at the damaged building of Taiwanese bicycle factory Tan Than in Di An Town, Binh Duong Province, Vietnam, Wednesday, May 14, 2014.
Ralph Jennings
— Taiwan’s government is taking steps to protect its citizens as anti-China protests continue to grip Vietnam. Authorities say some 1,000 Taiwanese-backed businesses have been affected by protests over alleged territorial violations by a Chinese oil rig as the Taiwanese workers and businesses are being mistaken by protesters as a proxy for rival China.
 
Taiwan lodged a formal protest to Vietnam this week over rioting that has burnt, vandalized or looted factories in industrial parks near Ho Chi Minh City.
 
The government in Taipei says the violence affected 1,000 Taiwan-invested factories, prompting hundreds of investors to flee. The government is planning to increase flights as needed to bring them back to Taiwan.
 
Taipei is also preparing to demand compensation over damaged property, though it says there’s no way to estimate the amount due. Alexander Huang, professor of strategic studies at Tamkang University in Taiwan, said officials in Taipei have done all they can.
 
“I think Taiwan has tried almost everything for now, arranging increased flights, going through every possible diplomatic channel, and Taiwan has only limited tools at hand to deal with the issue. We do not want to put the fuel on the fire and further endanger our investors over there. We have certain strengths in negotiating and engaging the Vietnamese government, but we are not a superpower for sure,” said Huang.
 
Vietnamese targeted Taiwanese as a stand-in for ethnically similar mainland China after a dispute earlier this month about Beijing’s installation of a mammoth oil rig in waters also claimed by Hanoi. Taiwan-backed factories are more numerous than those set up by Chinese investors in the areas where protests grew violent on Tuesday.
 
If large numbers of Taiwanese businesses leave Vietnam it would likely hurt both countries. At least 3,000 Taiwanese companies operate in Vietnam, making them one of the host country’s largest sources of foreign investment, along with Singapore and South Korea. Many Taiwanese firms operate in industrial zones outside Ho Chi Minh City to produce car parts, furniture and plastic goods.
 
The total value of trade between Taiwan and Vietnam reached $11.5 billion in 2013, making the Southeast Asian country Taiwan’s 13th largest trading partner. Some of the larger Taiwan-operated factories employ hundreds of local people. Foreign investment from all countries has made up from 3 to 12 percent of Vietnam’s export-driven economy each year since 1990.
 
Taiwanese have cited Vietnam as a low-cost manufacturing base since 1986 and especially over the past decade as costs rose in China, another favorite offshore base for Taiwan capital. But due to rising land prices, labor unrest and currency volatility in Vietnam since 2008, many of the 40,000 Taiwanese in Vietnam have considered moving to other parts of Asia. Since 2012, Taipei officials have offered incentives for Taiwanese investors to return home and invest in Taiwan.

You May Like

Mali's Female Basketball Players Rebound After Islamist Occupation

Islamist extremists ruled northern Mali for most of 2012, imposing strict Sharia law, and now some 18 months later, the region is slowly getting back on its feet More

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

Many Chinese-made products go unsold, for now, with numerous Vietnamese consumers still angry over recent dispute More

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid