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

    Pentagon: Afghan Hospital Bombing Not a War Crime

    US Central Command's Joseph Votel says probe found tragedy was result of 'extraordinarily intense situation' that included multiple equipment failures

    US Minorities Link Guns with Other Social Ills

    New study finds reduction in gun violence could help lower America’s incarceration rate – the world’s highest - and improve relationships between police, citizens in minority communities

    US Millennials Beat Baby Boomers as Largest Living Generation

    America's young people are about to take over and here's what we can expect from them

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkey Islamists

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora