Taipei, May 16 (CNA) Taiwan will seek negotiations with the Vietnamese government within two weeks on compensation for losses suffered by Taiwanese-invested companies during anti-China riots there earlier this week, an economics official said Friday.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) will investigate the extent of the damage caused by rioters before pursuing negotiations based on an investment and protection agreement signed by Taiwan and Vietnam in 1993, said Deputy Economics Minister Duh Tyzz-jiun.
Such negotiations would normally last three to six months, Duh said, adding that if the talks failed to produce results, Taiwan would turn to international arbitration.
The MOEA has hired a lawyer practicing in Ho Chi Minh City to provide legal services to Taiwanese businesses operating in Vietnam at the ministry's expense, Duh added.
He urged the companies that incurred losses during the violence to collect evidence, such as photos of factories that were set on fire, and record in detail damaged property to support future compensation claims.
Duh said Vice Economics Minister Shen Jong-chin is scheduled to leave for Vietnam on May 21 to learn more about the condition of Taiwanese businesses there and offer them any necessary assistance, including new loans or loan extensions.
Protests by Vietnamese angered by a Chinese oil-drilling venture in disputed waters in the South China Sea turned violent on Tuesday and Wednesday, with protesters attacking factories considered "Chinese," including those with Chinese-language signboards.
Taiwanese businesses in southern Vietnam ended up suffering the worst damage.
(By Milly Lin and Elizabeth Hsu) ENDITEM/ls
(Click here for developments related to the anti-China protest-turned-riot in Vietnam.)