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June 29, 2017

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2 Taiwanese businessmen injured by demonstrators

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- In the wake of rising anti-Chinese sentiment, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) made an announcement last night, raising the caution level to yellow for Taiwanese people traveling in Vietnam and saying that two Taiwanese businessmen have been injured during demonstrations.

Mass protests recently broke out in Vietnam after China moved oil rigs to contested waters off the shore of Vietnam this month. The Vietnam government branded China's move as "illegal" and has dispatched vessels to the area.

The two countries are locked in a long-standing territorial dispute in the South China Sea. Chinese vessels reportedly collided with Vietnamese ships and attacked them with water cannons earlier this month.

Thousands of workers staged a protest at an industrial park in southern Vietnam on Tuesday, resulting in damage to office buildings and plant facilities. A Taiwanese factory was also mistaken for a Chinese-owned plant and suffered damage from protesters.

Hundreds of Vietnamese staged a protest in front of the local Chinese embassy. The anti-Chinese demonstrations have also spread to more provinces, and protesters have attacked buildings with Chinese logos. Businesses that suffered property damage include ones from China, Japan, South Korea and Singapore, according to MOFA.

Mass demonstrations recently assembled in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, and there have been calls by Vietnamese netizens for further protests. Dozens of anti-China demonstrations have been held in Vietnam since 2007 to protest Beijing's perceived aggression.

MOFA recommended that travelers plan a safe itinerary and suggested that Taiwanese citizens in Vietnam stay alert.

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