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May 30, 2017

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100s of Taiwan firms attacked in Vietnam

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) yesterday told a press conference that as of May 14 in Vietnam, over 100 Taiwanese-owned companies had been attacked and damaged, over 10 factories set ablaze and several hundred Taiwanese-owned firms have suspended work owing to safety concerns, noting that the MOEA will assist Taiwanese nationals in seeking compensation from Vietnam.

During the press conference at the Executive Yuan, MOEA Vice Minister Cho Shih-chao (卓士昭) said that, as far as he knows, in Vietnam's Binh Doung Province, over 500 Taiwanese businesspeople have left their companies and are currently staying in local hotels.

There are also Taiwanese nationals temporarily staying in the Taipei School in Ho Chi Minh City as well as in local hotels in Dong Nai Province and Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province, Cho said.

Taiwanese nationals are currently safe and property losses arising from the recent riots are yet to be confirmed, Cho said.

Taiwan and Vietnam signed an investment protection agreement in 1993 that can be used as the basis for Taiwanese businesses seeking compensation from Vietnam, Cho said.

The MOEA said Taiwanese nationals have invested US$27.3 billion in Vietnam, noting that annual bilateral trade between the two countries amounts to US$11.5 billion.

During the Cabinet meeting, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said it estimates that around 40,000 Taiwanese nationals are currently living in Vietnam. The ministry said there are 2,287 Taiwanese-owned companies and factories registered there, noting that 669 firms are stationed in Binh Doung Province, 331 located in Dong Nai Province and 485 are in Ho Chi Minh City.

Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Vanessa Shih (史亞平) said Taiwan will strongly demand that the Vietnamese government abide by the agreement and compensate the affected Taiwanese business operators. Shih added that she believes Vietnam clearly knows the importance of Taiwanese investments in the country's development.

Shih said the representative offices in Vietnam have information regarding a possible upcoming mass demonstration, however, the issues of whether the demonstration will be held this weekend and how the Vietnamese government is likely to respond remain uncertain.

Cabinet Forms Team to Respond

The Executive Yuan yesterday formed a cross-ministry team lead by Vice Premier Mao Chi-kuo (毛治國), aiming to gather and respond to the latest information regarding the recent violent demonstrations in Vietnam.

Mao said the team will also assist Taiwanese businesspeople in demanding compensation from the Vietnamese government and strive for Taiwanese investors' interests.

The vice premier said that should any Taiwanese nationals wish to return to Taiwan, they can register at Taiwan's representative offices in Vietnam and the government will immediately assist them. The executive branch is to announce all the relevant ministries' contact information to public.

Cabinet spokesman Sun Lih-chyun (孫立群) said the government will assist Taiwanese nationals who have lost or damaged passports in applying for a temporary entry permit to Taiwan and will pay close attention to the demand for flights between the two nations.

Sun further said that the government has drafted a series of plans to respond to any circumstances that arise, including plans for the emergency evacuation of Taiwanese nationals out of Vietnam. He said the government will also assist Taiwanese students returning to Taiwan to resume studying should it be required.

May 16, 2014    yyuhsieh@
The blurred lines between the Republic of China (ROC) and the People’s Republic of China (PRC), not to mention Beijing’s propaganda about “one China” and the accession of foreign governments to such rhetoric, serve as a source of confusion for people who are not cognizant of the fundamental political differences that exist between the two entities and peoples.

With self-restraint and discernment going out the window when angered crowds take action, it is not surprising that Taiwanese would be mistaken for Chinese and become the targets of anti-Chinese reprisals.

The recent incidents prove beyond doubt that the constant blurring of the lines between Taiwan and China is self-defeating and in fact dangerous. This is a lesson that Taiwanese should keep in mind wherever they go, even in far-away Africa, where the thuggish behavior of Chinese workers brought in by PRC firms is, according to various accounts, rapidly turning the population against them. Taiwanese could one day be mistaken for Chinese nationals and physically attacked by locals who have had enough of the exploitation, economic dislocation, and environmental damage caused by Chinese companies.

Beijing’s intransigence and outright belligerence against weaker nations — not to mention against its ethnic minorities — is of the Chinese leadership’s own making. Sadly for Taiwanese (and possibly people from Hong Kong), the inevitable backlash will threaten them as well.
May 16, 2014    r@
I hope this very unfortunate incident will wake up the government into allowing more immigrant workers into Taiwan, then factories could remain inside Taiwan.
Fpg for example was originally going to build a Steelwork on reclaimed land next to their Mailiao complex.
May 16, 2014    liovka@
The 1992 riot/uprising in Los Angeles started when a bunch of white police savagely beat up a black driver on camera, but ended with a coordinated attack of Korean-owned shops in the neighborhood, especially those that have discriminated against the black residents. Taiwanese business owners in Vietnam should take a good look at their own labor and environmental practices in businesses abroad.

While rioters may attack Taiwanese businesses under the cover of an anti-China protest, the Taiwanese in Vietnam may also claim innocence under the cover of mistaken identity. But we are better than this! The Taiwanese must reflect and take some responsibility.
May 16, 2014    thompsonjames@
Lots of people in the world mess up Taiwanese as Chinese. The reason partly because many of the island's residents nowadays identify themselves as Chinese. It's also pretty confusing as many of them do not or can not even speak Taiwanese/Hokkien language...Sad!
May 17, 2014    sawyer.arthur17@
May 19, 2014    faan_da@
I am glad to see that the Vietnamese government and the good people in Vietnam are fixing the damages caused to Taiwanese companies. But I do think that Vietnamese and Taiwanese should work together to stop the Chinese greedy expansion in the sea and on the land. They claim almost all the sea. If you look at what the Chinese say then the whole sea area even close to beaches of Vietnam/Malaysia/Philippines. I hope the Chinese people can see that what their government does is wrong and it will give bad name for china and the Chinese people. China is already having bad name in this world. People hate Chinese when they see them on holidays. And sometimes Vietnamese and Taiwanese are being seen as Chinese. Picking on smaller nations does not make u big. It just say that you a stupid bully. They claim Taiwan. They claim Tibet. They claim.. they claim..if we wait a bit longer they claim the whole world.
Vietnam does not belong to china. Taiwan does not belong to china. The same for Philippines and the same for Asia. Wake up china. Help the world and not destroy it. You will be left alone.
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