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

Changing Under Pressure, IS ‘Potent’ as Ever

US intel officials describe Ramadi's fall as concerning, but say it isn't emblematic of larger effort to degrade IS capabilities More

Nigeria Fuel Shortage Shows Fragility of Africa’s Oil Giant

Although it is the largest oil producer in Africa, country has nearly ran out of fuel it needs to power its generators, cars and airplanes over the past week More

Arrested Football Officials Come Mainly From the Americas

US Justice Department alleges defendants participated in 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through corruption of international soccer More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Cari
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
May 27, 2015 9:31 PM
Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs