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Task force to help ROC businesses in Vietnam

TAIPEI--Vice Economics Minister Shen Jong-chin said Wednesday that the government has assembled an emergency task force to help Taiwanese businessmen affected by anti-China protests in Vietnam and assess their losses.

The task force was put together by the foreign affairs and economic affairs ministries and the Oversea Community Affairs Council on Tuesday, soon after Vietnamese protesters began destroying property owned by Taiwanese businessmen, Shen said at a legislative hearing.

The protests 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.

Shen said Taiwanese businessmen in Vietnam, who were all said to be safe as of 6 a.m. Wednesday, have invested in 481 projects in the Southeast Asian country, and their overall losses are still being assessed.

He said some Taiwanese businessmen were targeted in the riots because their companies had Chinese-language signs and were mistakenly identified as Chinese companies.

The Tourism Bureau, meanwhile, said there are currently 290 Taiwanese tourists in Vietnam, mainly in the northern part of the country and in Ha Long Bay, and they have not been affected by the protests.

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