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Construction of Taiwanese steel mill in Vietnam delayed by riots

2014/05/19 14:16:39

Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Corp. Chairman Lin Hsin-yi.

Taipei, May 19 (CNA) Construction of a steel mill owned by Taiwan's Formosa Plastics Group in Vietnam will be delayed by one to two months due to the evacuation of Chinese workers in the wake of recent anti-Chinese riots in the Southeast Asian country, the company said Monday.

The steel mill in Ha Tinh Province is being constructed with the help of Chinese contractors.

Lin Hsin-yi, chairman of Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Corp., told reporters via videoconference that two Chinese workers were killed and at least 150 others injured on the premises during an attack by Vietnamese rioters last week.

Two other people were found dead in a dormitory of a Chinese contractor that was set on fire by the rioters, Lin said.

Property losses at the steel mill are estimated at US$3 million, including US$1.7 million in damage to air conditioners, stationery and computers, said Yang Chih-hung, president of the company.

Also attending the video conference, the deputy governor of Ha Tinh Province promised to increase the police presence to protect the safety of construction workers at the steel mill and to ensure an early resumption of construction at the site.

Anti-Chinese protests erupted in southern Vietnam last Tuesday over a Chinese oil-drilling venture in an area of the South China Sea that Hanoi regards as part of its exclusive economic zone.

Many Taiwanese and Chinese-owned factories were attacked by rioters after the protests turned violent, sending many Taiwanese nationals fleeing the country.

China has dispatched three ships to evacuate 3,000 Chinese workers there, while Taiwan's two major air carriers have added additional scheduled and chartered flights to help evacuate Taiwanese businessmen and their dependents.

(By Wei Shu and Y.F. Low)
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Related stories:
●May 18: 224 Taiwanese companies in Vietnam damaged by anti-China protesters
●May 18: Vietnam apologizes, mulling tax cuts for Taiwanese businesses (update)

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