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China Steel evacuates employee families as Vietnam operations resume

2014/05/16 12:16:26

Taipei, May 16 (CNA) China Steel Corp., Taiwan's largest steel maker, said Friday that it has evacuated 31 family members of its Taiwanese staff stationed in Vietnam amid continuing anti-Chinese protests in the Southeast Asian country.

China Steel said the dependents, accompanied by two company executives, returned to Taiwan early Friday morning in a preemptive move ahead of planned nationwide demonstrations Sunday, an expansion of the protests that have centered on the southern Binh Duong province.

The evacuation aims to ease concerns among staff still located in Vietnam over the safety of their families, the company said.

About 70 Taiwanese staffers at China Steel remain in Vietnam to oversee the company's operations and monitor the development of the anti-Chinese movement.

Currently, China Steel operates two joint ventures in Vietnam: China Steel Sumikin Vietnam Joint Stock Co., located in Ba Ria-Vung Tau province, and CSGT Metals Vietnam Joint Stock Co., located in neighboring Dong Nai province. The company also has a representative office in Ho Chi Minh City to the west of Dong Nai.

The three footholds have resumed operations after being suspended for two days amid the violent protests, China Steel said. In addition to the 70 Taiwanese staffers, around 840 Vietnamese workers are employed at the three locations.

Taiwan's Ministry of Economic Affairs has said that more than 100 Taiwanese companies operating in Vietnam were affected by the riots that erupted Tuesday. At least 11 buildings have been set on fire.

Protests in Vietnam, many violent, have been ongoing against China after Beijing deployed an oil rig in what Hanoi claims as its economic waters near the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea.

Self-governed Taiwan is not part of the People's Republic of China and has never been under its control, but many protesting Vietnamese failed to distinguish between Chinese and Taiwanese and attacked Taiwanese businesses.

The violence was concentrated in Binh Duong province, north of Ho Chi Minh City, where many Taiwanese investors operate.

(By Cheng Che-fon and Frances Huang)
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Related stories:
●May 16: Nearly 400 Taiwanese evacuated home from Vietnam overnight
●May 15: Worries continue on plans for anti-China marches in Vietnam
●May 15: Hundreds of Taiwanese factories affected by Vietnam riots: MOEA

(Click here for developments related to the anti-China protest-turned-riot in Vietnam.)