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10 Taiwanese factories in Vietnam set ablaze

Publication Date : 15-05-2014


The Taiwanese government does not currently intend to evacuate Taiwanese nationals in Vietnam amid tensions in the country after Vietnamese protesters damaged facilities owned by Taiwanese businesses and attacked Taiwanese people in a wave of anti-Chinese sentiment, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said yesterday.

According to the latest information provided by Taiwan's representative office in Vietnam, Foreign Minister David Lin said yesterday the situation in Binh Duong province has stabilised after Vietnamese authorities sent police and soldiers to the area late Tuesday.

More than 2,000 police were mobilised to control the escalating tensions in the region, Lin said at an emergency Foreign Ministry press conference yesterday morning.

In response to questions as to whether Taiwan will evacuate all of its nationals in the Southeast Asian country for safety reasons, the minister yesterday said it currently had no plan to do so since the situation has been stabilised.

But the government is closely monitoring developments in the country, he added.

His ministry has been keeping close contact with two major local airlines, China Airlines and Eva Airways, to make arrangements if Taiwanese businessmen and their families were planning to fly back to Taiwan amid the tensions.

Lin made the comments a day after his ministry issued a travel warning to Vietnam's Binh Duong province, urging people to pay special attention to their safety if traveling in the area and to avoid unnecessary trips if possible.

Vietnamese have been staging protests recently after Beijing deployed an oil rig in disputed waters as naval ships from both countries engaged in a tense standoff near the rig off the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea.

Some Vietnamese protesters could not distinguish between Taiwanese businesses and Chinese ones and destroyed any stores and facilities that had Chinese-language signs, the Foreign Ministry said.

The ministry yesterday raised the travel warning for Binh Duong and Dong Nai provinces from yellow to orange, the second highest warning sign in the ministry's four-color system.

The travel warning to Ho Chi Minh City has been raised to yellow, the third highest alarm level in the system.

Speaking at yesterday's press conference, Lin said the ministry has confirmed that at least one Taiwanese businessman was injured during the protest. He was beaten with a wooden stick and suffered relatively minor injuries.

Meanwhile, statistics offered by Taiwan's Overseas Community Affairs Council show 10 factories run by Taiwanese enterprises in southern Vietnam were set on fire and damaged during anti-China protests that turned violent on Tuesday.

The Foreign Ministry expressed strong condemnation and serious concerns over the safety of Taiwanese citizens in the country, Lin said.

Urging the Vietnamese people to restrain themselves from irrational acts, Lin said such violent behavior has harmed the long-term friendship between the two sides and would affect Taiwanese businessmen's willingness to invest in the country.

In response to accusation that Taiwan's representative office in Hanoi has done little to help Taiwanese nationals during the incident, Lin yesterday stressed that the office immediately sent officials to Binh Duong province to take care of Taiwanese businessmen.

The office also demanded that the Vietnamese government protect the safety of R.O.C. nationals in the country, he added.

The office will help Taiwanese businessmen whose properties were damaged during the protest file for compensation from the Vietnamese authorities in the future, he said.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of National Defense (MND) said yesterday the military would follow government policy and act accordingly if the government decides to evacuate Taiwanese nationals in Vietnam.

According to MOFA, currently there are more than 30,000 Taiwanese businessmen in Vietnam. Over 80 per cent of them live in Ho Chi Minh City and nearby areas.


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