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Taiwan steel mill in Vietnam to demand compensation for losses

2014/05/19 18:41:40

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

Taipei, May 19 (CNA) The chairman of the Formosa Plastics Group's steel mill in Vietnam said Monday that his company will demand compensation and tax breaks from the Vietnamese government for losses caused during violent protests in the country last week.

Lin Hsin-yi, chairman of Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Corp., said in a video conference with the company's representatives in Ha Tinh province that he will visit Vietnam later this week to meet with senior Vietnamese government officials.

He said he will ask them to ensure the safety of the company's investment and employees and demand compensation and tax breaks to help ease the burden of the losses incurred during the anti-China riots.

The steel mill in Ha Tinh province, still currently under construction, is being built by Chinese contractors who are using Chinese laborers.

Work on the plant is expected to be delayed by one to two months because the Chinese workers were evacuated following the violent protests, Lin said.

The riots left four people dead and at least 150 people injured at the steel factory, the company said.

They also caused an estimated US$3 million in property losses, including US$1.7 million in damage to air conditioners, stationery and computers, according to the mill's general manager, Yang Hung-chih.

Yang said it was not clear when the project's 3,000 Chinese workers who were evacuated would return, but discussions are being held with the Chinese contractor on plans to resume construction at the site.

Anti-Chinese protests erupted in southern Vietnam on May 13 over a Chinese oil-drilling venture in an area of the South China Sea that Hanoi insists is in its exclusive economic zone.

Many foreign-owned factories, and Taiwanese facilities in particular, were attacked by rioters after the protests turned violent, leading many Taiwanese nationals to flee the country.

On Sunday, Vietnam's representative to Taiwan Bui Trong Van apologized on behalf of his government to the Taiwanese businesses that suffered damage from the protests.

He said his government is considering offering tax cuts and other forms of compensation to those enterprises.

(By Wei Shu and Elaine Hou)
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Related stories:
●May 19: Construction of Taiwanese steel mill in Vietnam delayed by riots
●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.)