Taiwan businesses in Vietnam suffer huge losses from violence

05/14/2014 11:14 PM

Binh Duong, May 14 (CNA) After suffering huge losses from the anti-China violence sweeping southern Vietnam, Taiwanese businesspeople are hoping their family members can return home as soon as possible, the president of the Binh Duong Taiwanese Chamber of Commerce said Wednesday.

Tsai Wan-chen said the anti-China protests turned violent on Tuesday evening in Binh Duong Province and affected many innocent Taiwanese businesspeople, as Vietnamese protesters broke gates and robbed factories run by Taiwanese enterprises, or even set fire on the facilities.

Some 300 Taiwanese businessmen have moved to a provisional shelter in the provincial capital city Thu Dau Mot, where the Vietnamese police authorities have agreed to protect them, she said.

More than 100 Taiwanese businesspeople said they wanted their elderly relatives and young children to return to Taiwan as soon as possible out of safety concerns, hoping that the Taiwan government could send special flights to carry them home, Tsai said.

A Taiwanese businessman surnamed Chang, whose company have invested in Vietnam for over 10 years, said Vietnamese protesters broke into his company's factories in four waves and damaged goods and equipment, forcing the employees to flee to the provisional shelter.

It was an evacuation that he could never have imagined and it was "painful" to see years of hard work destroyed, Chang said.

Thousands of protesters demonstrated in the southern Vietnamese province of Binh Duong, home to many Taiwan-invested facilities, to show their opposition to a Chinese oil-drilling venture in South China Sea waters that Hanoi regards as its exclusive economic zone.

The demonstrations turned violent when protesters began attacking factories identified with signs bearing Chinese characters or those with Chinese nationals as managers, many of which are actually Taiwanese companies.

President Ma Ying-jeou said Wednesday in a ruling Kuomintang Central Standing Committee meeting that the violence will certainly affect the decision of Taiwanese businessmen about whether they will continue to stay in Vietnam, in which Taiwan has made the most investments among Southeast Asian countries over the past few years.

(By Tony Fang, Claudia Liu and Jeffrey Wu)ENDITEM/sc

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

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