Beijing, Hong Kong issue Vietnam travel warning after Chinese factories torched

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Vietnam riotsBeijing and Hong Kong authorities have warned their citizens against travel to Vietnam after protesters, angry over oil drilling in disputed waters, ran amok and torched a number of Chinese-owned factories.

The riots followed a large protest by workers on May 13 against China’s recent placement of an oil rig in disputed waters around the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea. So far, the violent protests claimed more than 20 lives.

The rioting in Binh Duong province followed protests by up to 20,000 workers at industrial parks near Ho Chi Minh City. Smaller groups of men attacked factories they believed were mainland Chinese-run, but many were Taiwanese or South Korean, the provincial government said.

“Everyone is terrified,” said Serena Liu, chairwoman of the Taiwan Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam. “Some people tried to drive out of Binh Duong, but looters had put up roadblocks.”

More than 200 Taiwanese took shelter at the Mira Hotel in Thu Dau Mot, according to Chen Bor-show, director general of the Taipei Economic and Culture Office in Ho Chi Minh City. There were similar protests in nearby Dong Nai province.

“The workers [don’t care] which country the factory belongs to,” said Bob Hsu, general manager of Taiwan’s Great Super Enterprise, which shut its garment factories in Dong Nai. Protesters looking at company names “are just trying to find a Chinese word. It includes Korean, Japanese factories”.

“Factories with Chinese writing or names are targets of destruction,” a Hong Kong garment manufacturer in Ho Chi Minh who did not want to be named said. His factory had so far escaped the protests unscathed, partly helped by a disguised Chinese identity. “We are a joint venture with a local Vietnamese investor, and luckily we don’t have any Chinese writing at our factory entrance,” he said.

Felix Chung Kwok-pan, a lawmaker for the textiles and garment constituency, said there were hundreds of Hong Kong-owned factories in Vietnam, and the labour-intensive industry was the biggest victim of the anti-China riots.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Beijing and Hong Kong authorities have warned their citizens against travel to Vietnam after protesters, angry over oil drilling in disputed waters, ran amok and torched a number of Chinese-owned factories.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Vietnam riotsBeijing and Hong Kong authorities have warned their citizens against travel to Vietnam after protesters, angry over oil drilling in disputed waters, ran amok and torched a number of Chinese-owned factories.

The riots followed a large protest by workers on May 13 against China’s recent placement of an oil rig in disputed waters around the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea. So far, the violent protests claimed more than 20 lives.

The rioting in Binh Duong province followed protests by up to 20,000 workers at industrial parks near Ho Chi Minh City. Smaller groups of men attacked factories they believed were mainland Chinese-run, but many were Taiwanese or South Korean, the provincial government said.

“Everyone is terrified,” said Serena Liu, chairwoman of the Taiwan Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam. “Some people tried to drive out of Binh Duong, but looters had put up roadblocks.”

More than 200 Taiwanese took shelter at the Mira Hotel in Thu Dau Mot, according to Chen Bor-show, director general of the Taipei Economic and Culture Office in Ho Chi Minh City. There were similar protests in nearby Dong Nai province.

“The workers [don’t care] which country the factory belongs to,” said Bob Hsu, general manager of Taiwan’s Great Super Enterprise, which shut its garment factories in Dong Nai. Protesters looking at company names “are just trying to find a Chinese word. It includes Korean, Japanese factories”.

“Factories with Chinese writing or names are targets of destruction,” a Hong Kong garment manufacturer in Ho Chi Minh who did not want to be named said. His factory had so far escaped the protests unscathed, partly helped by a disguised Chinese identity. “We are a joint venture with a local Vietnamese investor, and luckily we don’t have any Chinese writing at our factory entrance,” he said.

Felix Chung Kwok-pan, a lawmaker for the textiles and garment constituency, said there were hundreds of Hong Kong-owned factories in Vietnam, and the labour-intensive industry was the biggest victim of the anti-China riots.

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