Despite fears, Vietnam calm on set protest day
By Joseph Yeh ,The China Post
May 19, 2014, 12:02 am TWN
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- There have been no reports of major anti-China protests in Vietnam as of pres time, a spokeswoman from Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said.
Vietnam cities were largely peaceful and no major public gatherings in Ho Chi Minh City in the south or elsewhere were reported, Anna Kao told Taiwan's Central New Agency.
MOFA will keep the latest updates on the situation in Vietnam on its website. Anti-China protests and rioting last week caused damage to Chinese and Taiwanese businesses in the Southeast Asian country. There were calls on the Internet for the public in Vietnam to hold demonstrations Sunday to protest against China, which on May 1 moved an oil rig into a disputed area of the South China Sea.
The Vietnamese top envoy to Taiwan yesterday apologized to the Taiwanese people over the damages Taiwanese businesses in Vietnam have suffered in the past week from nationwide anti-Chinese protests.
"On behalf of the Vietnamese government, I would like to express our sincere regret and to apologize for the loss of Taiwanese businesses in Vietnam," Bui Trong Van, head of the Vietnam Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei, told at a press conference organized by MOFA.
"The recent incident is unfortunate for both Vietnam and Taiwan," he noted.
As a concrete move to compensate for the losses of foreign investment, including that of Taiwan, Bui said his government is considering cutting taxes to those foreign businesses that have suffered damaged from the recent riots.
These initiatives are meant to serve as a reassurance so that Taiwanese investors will continue their investments and operations in his country, Bui said.
Speaking during the press conference that was hosted by Taiwan's Foreign Minister David Lin (林永樂) in Taipei, Bui stressed that the situation in his country has been stabilized and social order restored after his government vowed that similar violent demonstrations across Vietnam over the past week will not happen again.
The fact that the Vietnamese government has arrested more than 1,000 rioters after the violent demonstrations erupted on May 13 has shown its determination to bring offenders who broke the laws to justice.
"Our government has brought the situation under control," he said. "Similar damage will not occur again."