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September 23, 2017

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Taiwan summons Hanoi envoy

TAIPEI--The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday summoned Vietnam's representative to Taiwan to express serious concerns over violent protests in the country and ask Vietnamese authorities to protect Taiwanese nationals living there.

In the meeting with Bui Trong Van, head of the Vietnam Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei, Foreign Minister David Lin strongly condemned the violent acts of anti-China protesters that have damaged factories owned by Taiwanese businessmen, the ministry said in a statement.

Taiwanese have been injured in the attacks, while Taiwan-invested factories were set ablaze and facilities were destroyed.

A Taiwanese businessman in Binh Duong province told a Taiwanese TV station by phone Wednesday morning that some 240 Taiwanese have taken refuge at a hotel in the province where they were promised protection by local authorities.

In addition to expressing hope that Vietnamese authorities can act immediately to restore order and protect the safety of Taiwanese nationals, Lin also urged the Vietnamese government to consider compensation for the damage caused.

In response, the Vietnamese envoy said he had already reported Taiwan's concerns to his government and relayed to Lin his government's pledge to do its utmost to protect any foreign investment, including from Taiwan, the statement said.

As for compensation for the losses, the envoy will report the request to his government for further discussion, according to the statement.

Vietnamese anger toward China has reached its highest level in years after Beijing deployed an oil rig in South China Sea waters claimed by Hanoi as its economic waters.

Naval ships from the two countries have engaged in a tense standoff near the rig, which is located near the Paracel Islands.

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