News / Asia

    Protests Target Chinese Factories in Vietnam

    Passersby photograph a burned out vehicle after angry mobs burned and looted scores of foreign-owned factories in Binh Duong province, Vietnam, May 14, 2014. (User generated photo for VOA)
    Passersby photograph a burned out vehicle after angry mobs burned and looted scores of foreign-owned factories in Binh Duong province, Vietnam, May 14, 2014. (User generated photo for VOA)
    Marianne BrownTrung Nguyen
    Vietnamese authorities have called for calm after thousands of workers in South Vietnam attacked factories believing them to be Chinese-owned.  

    The unrest took place in one of Vietnam’s most important manufacturing centers in Binh Duong province.

    This week, a sign on a factory gate tried to discourage attacks: “We are South Korean, no Chinese officials work at our company."

    Another sign shows a Japanese flag and the words “We always support Vietnam.”

    Photographs of the signs are being widely circulated on Facebook as many foreign factories try to ensure they are not mistaken for Chinese companies.   

    Reports say up to 20,000 workers took to the streets to protest the deployment of a state-owned Chinese oil rig in Vietnamese waters. They targeted Taiwanese and Hong Kong factories believing them to be Chinese-owned.

    State-run newspaper Tuoi Tre said on its English language site Wednesday some people “illegally rushed into office buildings… breaking glass and smashing valuable items.”

    A report in the Thanh Nien newspaper said “some took advantage of the chaos to loot, commit arson and assault security guards”.

    One woman who witnessed the protests but did not want to give her name said the situation over the last few days had been chaotic.

    She said she was worried about workers in Chinese factories that had been broken into, and what this could lead to.

    Taiwan’s foreign ministry urged Taiwanese businessmen in Vietnam to put up signs saying "Taiwan" in Vietnamese outside their factories, to avoid being mistaken for Chinese, state-run media reported.
     
    • 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.

    In Beijing, China expressed serious concerns over the incident. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying spoke at a regular news conference Wednesday.  

    She said China has urged Vietnamese authorities to do their utmost to stop such acts and punish those responsible and ensure the security of Chinese companies and employees.

    Vietnamese authorities were quick to urge calm and send in police. Local media reported Wednesday afternoon that 191 people have been arrested, charged with causing public disorder and inciting workers to damage property.

    But it is not just in Vietnam’s interests to calm anti-China sentiment for the peace of mind of foreign investors.

    Although the altercation over the oil rig is an issue of sovereignty, there is a wider issue at stake too. China is Vietnam’s biggest trading partner, with total turnover reaching over $50 billion in 2013, up 22 per cent compared with a year earlier, according to the General Statistics Office.

    Economist Le Dang Doanh said if China limits exports to Vietnam, it would be a “painful blow” to the Vietnamese economy.  

    He said based on China’s aggressive actions, he did not exclude the possibility that China could use its economic strength to put pressure on Vietnam and the government should take active measures to minimize losses.

    Although authorities say calm has been restored in Binh Duong, reports are circulating on social media of workers protesting in Vung Tau province, on Vietnam’s southern coast, and in Thai Binh in North Vietnam.

    Vietnamese fishermen have alleged that Chinese forces recently blasted water cannons at them in the South China Sea, as the stand-off over a Chinese oil rig in contested waters shows no sign of easing.

    The accusations come days after patrol ships from Vietnam and China exchanged water cannon spray in an area near the oil rig.  

    Bui Van Phai of Ly Son Island, about 160 kilometers from the scene of the sea confrontation, said in an interview with VOA’s Vietnamese Service he had to return early from a fishing trip near the disputed Paracel Island.

    “We were scared away. Some ships sustained damages from water cannon fire [from Chinese forces]. As China banned fishing boats near the oil rig, we had to go around to reach our usual fishing areas. From afar, I saw a lot of ships, including military ones, around the rig. We are more concerned than before," said Phai.

    This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Vietnamese service.

    You May Like

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games, Despite Woes

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    IS Use of Social Media to Recruit, Radicalize Still a Top Threat to US

    Despite military gains against IS in Iraq and Syria, their internet propaganda still commands an audience; US officials see 'the most complex challenge that the federal government and industry face'

    ‘Time Is Now’ to Save Africa’s Animals From Poachers, Activist Says

    During Zimbabwe visit, African Wildlife Foundation President Kaddu Sebunya says poaching hurts Africa as slave trade once did

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora