Taiwan to convey concern to Vietnam over anti-China protests: minister

05/16/2014 06:52 PM

Qingdao, China, May 16 (CNA) Minister of Economic Affairs Chang Chia-juch said Friday upon arrival for a meeting of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) trade ministers that he will convey Taiwan's concerns over violent anti-China protests in Vietnam over Chinese oil drilling in disputed waters in the South China Sea.

"I believe I will have many opportunities to meet with Vietnamese representatives and I will convey Taiwan's concerns over the matter to Vietnam," Chang said as he arrived in the Chinese city of Qingdao at the head of a delegation to the annual APEC trade ministers meeting scheduled for the following two days.

Asked whether he will hold bilateral talks with economic and trade representatives from Vietnam on the sidelines of the APEC meeting, Chang said he was unclear about the arrangements for meetings.

In response to media inquiries on whether he will seek China's assistance to communicate with Vietnam, Chang pointed out that Taiwan "has effective channels for communication with Vietnam."

Anti-China protests erupted last week after China earlier this month deployed an oil rig near the Paracel Islands, an area claimed by both Beijing and Hanoi, which led to sea skirmishes between the two sides. Many factories in industrial parks in Vietnam, including several run by Taiwanese companies, have been attacked.

The Chinese government has expressed strong condemnation and protests over the riots. China's Ministry of Commerce said Friday that Minister of Commerce Gao Hucheng would meet the head of Vietnam's Ministry of Industry and Trade later in the day.

(By Cheng Chung-sheng and Evelyn Kao)ENDITEM/J

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

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