At least two Chinese dead amid Vietnam riots

05/15/2014 11:21 PM

Taipei, May 15 (CNA) Two Chinese employees at Taiwan-owned factories in Vietnam were dead Thursday as violent anti-China protests over the South China Sea dispute spread from southern to central Vietnam.

One of the deceased was among some 100 Chinese employees injured Wednesday at a steel mill in Ha Tinh province belonging to Formosa Plastics Group (FPG), the biggest Taiwanese investor in Vietnam, when a 1,000-man strong mob stormed its way into the facility.

The attack at the mill some 250 kilometers north of Hanoi started when Vietnamese workers turned violent against Chinese employees at the plant amid tense relations between Hanoi and Beijing, according to Taiwan's representative to Vietnam, Huang Chih-peng.

Another body was found at a Taiwanese factory in an industrial zone in the southern Binh Duong province. The building had been set on fire during the rioting.

A Taiwanese man who had been reported missing Wednesday has been found, though he was said to be in poor mental health.

There were unconfirmed reports that seven Chinese management-level workers have been killed and up to 10 have gone missing.

Riot police have been stationed around a major industrial zone in Binh Duong province, where many Taiwanese investors operate.

Hung Fu-yuan, president of Formosa Industries Corp., the Vietnam division of Formosa Plastics Group, said that riot police have been stationed at a factory owned by the company in the industrial zone, where two large shipping containers have been placed to block the entrance.

The heightened security measures were deployed Thursday, one day after a mob of over 300 broke into and looted the company's plants in Nhon Trach district, Dong Nai province, injuring a Taiwanese employee.

Hung said the new measures routed an attack from some 1,000 rioters Thursday, leading to the arrest of over 100 instigators.

Vietnamese protesters have taken to the streets out of anger toward China after Beijing deployed an oil rig in what Hanoi claims is its economic waters near the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea.

Self-governed Taiwan is not part of the People's Republic of China, but many protesting Vietnamese have failed to distinguish between Chinese and Taiwanese in their attacks.

(By Wei Shu and Evelyn Kao)


Related stories:●May 15: Cabinet to help Taiwanese businessmen return home from Vietnam●May 15: Worries continue on plans for anti-China marches in Vietnam●May 15: Hanoi vows to protect Taiwanese as anti-China riots continue

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

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