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April 30, 2017

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MOFA's Shih denies recalling representative to Vietnam

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Vice Foreign Minister Vanessa Shih (史亞平) yesterday refuted accusations that Taiwan's representative to Vietnam had been summoned back to Taiwan amid the riots there.

During an interpellation at the Legislature session yesterday, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Kuan Bi-ling (管碧玲) noted that Representative to Vietnam Huang Chih-peng (黃志鵬) was summoned back to Taiwan after the heated protests began, leaving the representative office in Vietnam without a managing officer, only to return on May 13.

According to Shih, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) had not called for Huang to return to Taiwan; if he had left after taking several days off, there would be a substitute official in charge in Vietnam.

Kuan also claimed that Huang's alleged leave left local Taiwanese in Vietnam in confusion, as there was no one to instruct them on how to cope with the local riots.

"The Chinese government had asked Chinese businesspeople and companies to gear up their security on May 7, our National Security Council had also relayed the information about the riots to the Taiwanese businesspeople through our representative; this means the situation is dangerous and urgent, yet MOFA summoned Huang back to Taiwan instead of allowing him to reach the sites of the riots," Kuan accused.

Huang said yesterday that he hoped that the Vietnamese government — its leading officials — would apologize to Taiwan and Taiwanese businesspeople in Vietnam, also calling for it to arrest the culprits responsible for causing damage to the factories and for the stolen goods to be returned.

MOFA previously said that staff at its representative offices in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi have opened 13 shelters for Taiwanese nationals in the country, and each shelter is being manned by their staff members and guarded by Vietnamese police.

MOFA will also 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.

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