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Situation in Vietnam reportedly peaceful (update)

2014/05/18 17:00:36

Taipei, May 18 (CNA) The overall situation in Vietnam remains peaceful and calm on Sunday despite calls by the local people for a nationwide anti-Chinese protest, according to Taiwanese sources in Vietnam.

Kung Chung-chen, the chief of Taiwan's Bureau of Consular Affairs who arrived in Ho Chi Minh City in South Vietnam on Saturday morning telephonically informed a CNA reporter that the situation is quite peaceful on Sunday morning.

Kung stated that the Vietnamese authorities have been keeping a close eye on any public rallies and banned any parades. Any likely demonstrations will be restricted to specific locations.

However, Kung reiterated that the Taiwanese staff at its representative offices in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi are not taking any chances and have opened 13 shelters for the Taiwanese natives in the country, and each shelter is being manned by their staff members.

The situation in Hanoi is also reportedly peaceful on Sunday morning, thanks to a recent decree issued by Premier Nguyen Thi Doan ordering the police to take all necessary measures to ensure that law and order is maintained in the capital city.

A small group of people dressed in shirts bearing Vietnamese flags congregated near the Chinese embassy and were quickly dispersed by police, noted a CNA reporter covering the anti-Chinese protests in the area.

As the situation has normalized, the Vietnamese police began withdrawing their personnel from the streets around the Chinese embassy in Hanoi since noon.

Several Taiwan businessmen operating in other places in Vietnam also reported that the situation has returned to normal, according to the CNA reporter in Hanoi.

Hung Fu-yuan, the general manager of the Vietnamese subsidiary of Taiwan's Formosa Industries Corp. remarked in Taipei that nothing unusual has been reported at the company's plastic factory in Dong Nai, southeastern Vietnam.

On May 14, the factory, which was badly damaged and ransacked by some 300 protesters on motorcycles, is now being guarded by the Vietnamese riot police and its entrance is blockaded with containers, Hung added.

The company's steel mill in Ha Tinh, central Vietnam is also safe, Hung stated.

Tu Chung-cheng, a spokesman for Taiwan's Uni-President food group noted in Taipei that the group has beefed up security measures at its five factories in Vietnam on Sunday and all of them are safe.

The company's factory in Bing Duong province, which suspended production activities on May 13 due to anti-Chinese protests, has managed to resume partial operations since May 16, remarked Tu.

(By Wei Shu, Hsieh Chia-chen, Tony Fang, Han Ting-ting and Maubo Chang)
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●May 17: Taiwan expands travel warning for Vietnam, makes contingency plans

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