News / Asia

Tensions Remain High in Vietnam Following Attacks on Foreign Factories

  • Protesters targeted an industrial area in Binh Duong. The crowd set everything on fire, from materials, computers, equipments to other machines.
  • Protesters set truck on fire during a protest against China in the southern province of Binh Duong.
  • Protesters gathered at Amata Industrial Park, Bien Hoa City, Dong Nai Province, Vietnam.
  • Protesters gathered at Amata Industrial Park, Bien Hoa City, Dong Nai Province, Vietnam.
  • A foreign company displays banner supporting Vietnam in Dong Nai.
  • A factory in Binh Duong was set on fire. Banner says “We love Vietnam. Please protect our rice bowl."
  • A factory in Binh Duong was set on fire. Banner says “We love Vietnam. Please protect our rice bowl."
  • Protesters gathered at Amata Industrial Park, Bien Hoa City, Dong Nai Province, Vietnam.
  • Protesters gathered at Amata Industrial Park, Bien Hoa City, Dong Nai Province, Vietnam.
  • A banner says “Our company is not a Chinese company” in Binh Duong.

Factories Torched in Anti-China Protests in Vietnam

VOA News
Tensions remain high in southern Vietnam after thousands of people rampaged through foreign-owned factories to protest a Chinese oil rig in waters of the South China Sea.

In southern Binh Duong province, thousands of workers walked off their jobs late Tuesday and took part in mass anti-China rallies. Later, mobs torched and looted more than a dozen factories, including some owned by Korean and Taiwanese firms.

Many factories in the area remained closed Wednesday, as riot police tried to regain control of the situation. Social media postings say there have been incidents in other provinces, but those reports cannot be confirmed.

Tsai Wan-chen, president of the Taiwanese Businessmen Association in Binh Duong, Vietnam says the situation is still volatile, despite reports of police making more than 200 arrests.

“The protests were still going on Wednesday evening; more factories were looted and burned down. Most Taiwanese businessmen are seeking shelter in nearby hotels. Chinese businessmen have all left since Tuesday. Only some Taiwanese, Singaporeans and Korean businessmen are still in Binh Duong," said Wan-chen.

She added that she is shocked by how things have gone because her business had a good relationship with the local community.

A staff member of a hospital close to the area where some of the most violent demonstrations took place said in an interview with VOA's Vietnamese service he believes that among the demonstrators is a core of bad elements, paid by an unknown party to provoke the rampage.

“I really do not see any move that would allow me to characterize participants as genuine demonstrators. From personal observations, I can say that none of these demonstrations are official or genuine, instead they probably started with bad intentions," he said.

There is no way to confirm his claim.

In Taipei Wednesday, Taiwan's foreign ministry summoned Vietnam's representative to the island to demand that Hanoi restore order and ensure the safety of Taiwanese citizens.

China has issued a travel advisory for its citizens in Vietnam, and a spokeswoman this week said Beijing is closely watching the situation.

Beijing last month moved the state-run oil rig to an area near the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea, within what Vietnam considers its exclusive economic zone.

Shen Shishun, professor at Haikou Economic Institute in China, says Beijing is not to blame for the current crisis.

“Beijing does not want the protest to get worse. China and Vietnam had both agreed that in order to resolve the South China Sea dispute, both sides need to stay calm and exercise restraint. This time the Vietnamese had made some unwise decisions," said Shishun.

But Carl Thayer, emeritus professor at The University of New South Wales, says China has initiated a major escalation in the maritime dispute.

"China in the past has always justified its actions as reacting to a provocation. And this seems to be the first incident that China has initiated a provocation. And not only that, but the magnitude and scale. Not only the oil rig, but the 80 vessels, including People's Liberation Army Navy vessels, marks in fact a major escalation and a major challenge to Southeast Asian security," said Thayer.

Chinese and Vietnamese ships have since clashed and sprayed water cannons at each other, raising fears of an all-out military clash.

This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Mandarin and Vietnamese services.

You May Like

Video Experts Warn World Losing Ebola Fight

Doctors Without Borders says world is losing battle against Ebola, unless wealthy nations dispatch specialized biological disaster response teams More

Video Experts: Rise of Islamic State Significant Development in Jihadism

Many analysts contend the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years More

US-Based Hong Kongers Pledge Support for Pro-Democracy Activists

Democracy advocates call on Chinese living abroad to join them in opposing new election rules for their home territory More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearancei
X
Elizabeth Lee
September 02, 2014 8:57 PM
Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Larger Than Life Chinese Lanterns Make Southern California Appearance

Chinese lanterns with a long history are lighting up in 21st century style at the Los Angeles County Fair in southern California. Visitors can see traditional lanterns that hang, but also lanterns in the shape of animals, iconic landmarks and many other objects, all created by artisans from a place in China known for its lanterns. Elizabeth Lee has the details from the fair in the city of Pomona.
Video

Video Experts See Rise of ISIS as Significant Development

The Islamic State’s rise seems sudden. It caught the U.S. by surprise this summer when it captured large portions of northern Iraq and spread its wings in neighboring Syria. But many analysts contend that the group - which grew out of al-Qaida in Iraq - has been rebuilding for years. VOA's Jela de Franceschi takes a closer look at the rise of ISIS and its implications for the Middle East and beyond.
Video

Video Israel Concerned Over Syrian Rebels in Golan

Israeli officials are following with concern the recent fighting between Syrian rebels and government forces near the contested Golan Heights. Forty-four U.N. peacekeepers from Fiji have been seized by Syrian Islamist rebels and the clashes occasionally have spilled into Israel. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.

AppleAndroid