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Vietnam Reassures Foreign Investors Following Anti-China Violence

Watched over by riot police, hundreds of Chinese workers leave Vung Ang port, Ha Tinh province, Vietnam on ships chartered by their government, May 19, 2014.
Trying to regain the trust of foreign investors, Vietnam says it is working hard to maintain order and protect foreign-owned factories following a wave of anti-China protests.

According to state-run media reports, the government has detained more than 1,000 people after riots last week killed two, injured hundreds and damaged dozens of foreign-owned facilities.

The news comes as industrial parks in southern Binh Duong province, where rioters targeted Chinese and Taiwanese companies, began returning to regular operations Tuesday even though some firms are still closed.

“[A] massive security force has been maintained in the park," said Tran Thi Quynh Thanh, communications officer of Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Park (VSIP).

"Hundreds of provincial riot police are positioned all over the area with the support of hundreds of guards deployed by VSIP. We also protect buildings of companies which have not been operational.”

In the central part of Ha Tinh, where a Taiwanese-owned steel mill was hard hit, local officials said things have returned to normal.

However, China has sent ships to evacuate thousands of its citizens working in the province.

“Order was restored hours after the attack. Everything is normal now. They [China] requested help [in evacuating their workers], and we are doing whatever we can to assist them," said Nguyen Dinh Van, deputy head of Management Board of Vung Ang Economic Zone in Ha Tinh. "We are also coordinating with investors to assess the impacts.”

Lat week's unrest was triggered by outrage over China's placement of an oil rig in disputed waters of the South China Sea.

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