News / Asia

Vietnamese Workers Stage Anti-China Protests

Protesters chant slogans during an anti-China protest in front of the Chinese embassy in Hanoi, Vietnam, May 13, 2014.
Protesters chant slogans during an anti-China protest in front of the Chinese embassy in Hanoi, Vietnam, May 13, 2014.
Thousands of Vietnamese workers have staged anti-China protests over Beijing's decision to locate an oil rig in waters of the South China Sea also claimed by Hanoi.

Video posted on social media Tuesday showed large numbers of Vietnamese in work uniforms in front of factories with Chinese names, waving national flags, honking their motorbike horns and chanting anti-China slogans.

A witness at Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Park (VSIP) who wishes to remain anonymous told VOA’s Vietnamese Service that it is a tumultuous scene.

“There are many people and it is totally chaotic. I do not know how to use words to describe it. I have not heard from the authorities so I do not know what is really going on,” said the witness.

It is not immediately clear how much damage the protests have caused.

In an unusual move, Vietnam allowed anti-China protests to take place across Vietnam over the weekend, and its tightly-controlled state media were granted permission to report on the rallies.

While the general public welcome anti-China protests as the way to express patriotism, some warn against extreme approaches that could impact Vietnam’s economy.

Economist Nguyen Quang A said nationalism is running high in Vietnam, and he cautioned the way workers reacted.

“It is those workers who will suffer the most as they damaged factories where they work. Their actions will cause investors to lose trust in the business environment in Vietnam. They might leave Vietnam, affecting its economy. Moreover, crowds of hundreds even thousands of people will spark social unrest that could be out of control,” he said.

China has not commented on the latest protests.

At the just concluded ASEAN summit in Burma, also known as Myanmar, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung accused Beijing of "extremely dangerous action" and called for the bloc to take a united stand on the issue.

But Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying responded by saying Hanoi's efforts to rally ASEAN against Beijing were bound to fail.

Secretary of State John Kerry Monday said the United States was "deeply concerned" by China's location of the oil rig. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Kerry told Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in a phone call the move was "provocative" and "aggressive."

In response, China's Foreign Ministry said Wang urged Kerry to "speak and act cautiously," saying he should be objective when talking about China.

The comments come as Beijing's army chief begins a trip to the U.S., as part of efforts to increase U.S.-China military cooperation and reduce maritime tensions.

Analysts say the dispute is likely to be discussed during the U.S. visit of Fang Fenghui, China's chief of the general staff of the People's Liberation Army.

The state-run China Daily newspaper said the trip will also highlight both countries' willingness for closer military cooperation.

Brad Glosserman, executive director of the Hawaii-based Pacific Forum, told VOA it was crucial that U.S.-China military ties improved.

"Given what you have in the South China Sea, and the East China Sea, quite frankly, I think what you have is an opportunity for the two militaries to talk, to try to get some better understanding of each others' intentions, so that the possibility of a miscalculation or an accident at sea is diminished," he said.

Glosserman said military relations were starting "at a very low base," but he expects visits such as this one will help provide for more substantive exchanges.

Fang's visit comes at the invitation of his American counterpart, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Martin Dempsey, who visited China in April 2013.

China claims nearly the entire 2.5-million-square-kilometer South China Sea. Its claims overlap with that of Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia and  the Philippines.

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

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