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

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More