Ethnic Vietnamese in Taiwan hope good relations will continue

05/14/2014 10:59 PM
(Photo courtesy of Vietnam-based Taiwanese businessmen)
(Photo courtesy of Vietnam-based Taiwanese businessmen)

Taipei, May 14 (CNA) Ethnic Vietnamese residents and citizens of Taiwan said Wednesday they hope relations between the Taiwanese and Vietnamese people will not be affected by the anti-China protests in Vietnam that have turned violent and harmed Taiwanese businesses there.

"I urge Vietnamese people not to be incited and not to participate in the actions. It's not good for families and society," Hoang Oanh, who also goes by the Chinese name Yen Pei-ying, told CNA by telephone.

Hoang, who currently works at Taiwan's National Immigration Agency (NIA) as a consultant for new immigrants, said she has received a lot of help from Taiwan's government and people since she came to the country 19 years ago.

As a counselor and translator at the NIA, Hoang said, she has had a lot of opportunities to make contact with Vietnamese officials visiting Taiwan.

"I can truly feel that both countries are working very hard to build friendly relations," she said.

Hoang said that after news about the violent protests broke, she contacted a Vietnamese immigrant in Taiwan who was "very worried" about her parents in Binh Duong province, where the violence was concentrated, and wanted to return home to be with them.

Hoang said her nephew was also working at a garment factory owned by Taiwanese in Binh Duong. He said the company's front gate was destroyed and his Taiwanese managers had fled to hotels to seek shelter.

The managers told the employees "there's no need to go to work, go home and hide from the riots," she related.

Another Vietnamese immigrant who goes by the Chinese name Ou Yu-fang, said she considers both Taiwan and Vietnam her home and is worried that the violence would cause friction between her relatives on the two sides.

Ou said she has tried to explain to Vietnamese the difference between Taiwan and China and hopes the protests will end peacefully.

Hsiao Hsiu-ling, executive director of the Pearl S. Buck Foundation in Taipei, said it is unfortunate that Taiwanese businesses have been harmed in the South China Sea dispute between Vietnam and China, but her group is not aware of any retaliatory acts against Vietnamese in Taiwan.

"It shows that Taiwan is a highly rational society," said Hsiao, whose foundation provides services to foreign spouses and their children in Taiwan.

Still, she urged Taiwanese not to vent their anger on Vietnamese immigrants and workers around them.

The protests, which began Monday, were triggered by China's deployment of an oil rig in what Vietnam considers to be its economic waters near the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea.

Factories owned by businessmen from Taiwan, Japan, South Korea and Singapore in the industrial zones of Binh Duong and Dong Nai provinces have been looted and damaged by the protesters.

Taipei issued a yellow travel alert for Ho Chi Minh City Wednesday and an orange alert for the two provinces.

(By Christie Chen)ENDITEM/pc

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

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