• Sat
  • Sep 20, 2014
  • Updated: 2:19pm
NewsHong Kong

Hong Kong issues Vietnam travel warning after mobs torch Chinese factories

Beijing and Hong Kong authorities warn against travel to Vietnam after protesters, angry over oil drilling in disputed waters, run amok

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 14 May, 2014, 12:23pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 15 May, 2014, 11:30am

The Hong Kong government issued an amber travel warning for Vietnam after protesters there vandalised hundreds of foreign-owned factories and torched at least 15 of them.

The riots followed a large protest by workers on Tuesday against China's recent placement of an oil rig in disputed waters around the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea.

Watch: Protesters torch Chinese factories in Vietnam after South China Sea dispute escalated

The rioting in Binh Duong province followed protests by up to 20,000 workers at industrial parks near Ho Chi Minh City. Smaller groups of men attacked factories they believed were mainland Chinese-run, but many were Taiwanese or South Korean, the provincial government said.

"Everyone is terrified," said Serena Liu, chairwoman of the Taiwan Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam. "Some people tried to drive out of Binh Duong, but looters had put up roadblocks."

More than 200 Taiwanese took shelter at the Mira Hotel in Thu Dau Mot, according to Chen Bor-show, director general of the Taipei Economic and Culture Office in Ho Chi Minh City.

There were similar protests in nearby Dong Nai province.

"The workers [don't care] which country the factory belongs to," said Bob Hsu, general manager of Taiwan's Great Super Enterprise, which shut its garment factories in Dong Nai. Protesters looking at company names "are just trying to find a Chinese word. It includes Korean, Japanese factories".

"Factories with Chinese writing or names are targets of destruction," a Hong Kong garment manufacturer in Ho Chi Minh who did not want to be named said. His factory had so far escaped the protests unscathed, partly helped by a disguised Chinese identity. "We are a joint venture with a local Vietnamese investor, and luckily we don't have any Chinese writing at our factory entrance," he said.

Felix Chung Kwok-pan, a lawmaker for the textiles and garment constituency, said there were hundreds of Hong Kong-owned factories in Vietnam, and the labour-intensive industry was the biggest victim of the anti-China riots.

Hong Kong's Immigration Department said by 10pm yesterday it had received three requests for help from Hongkongers in Vietnam.

The foreign ministry in Beijing and its embassy in Hanoi issued warnings to Chinese citizens. The embassy's website said it saw no end to the attacks and urged Chinese to take precautions.

In Taipei, President Ma Ying-jeou told a national security conference that if the situation worsened, the government would send aircraft to evacuate its nationals.

Singapore called in Vietnam's ambassador to the country to voice concerns over the protests, according to a statement from the city-state's foreign ministry.

"Singapore views this issue very seriously given our close economic cooperation with Vietnam," the ministry said in the statement. The government had "requested the Vietnamese authorities to restore order urgently".

The United States issued an appeal for the dispute over the oil rig to be settled through dialogue, not intimidation.

Bloomberg, Associated Press, Reuters



For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive



This article is now closed to comments

The lessons that investors should learn is that investments in Vietnam and the Philippines is a no go. Better to pull out of Vietnam and the Philippines.
Well the message is pretty clear isn't it. Remove that oil rig from Vietnamese waters. How bloody dumb are the Chinese?
Let China and Vietnam go to war; winner takes islands, loser shuts-up.
Let China and the Philippines go to war; winner takes islands, loser shuts-up.
Let China and Japan go to war; winner takes islands, loser shuts-up.
The results should end this pointless online discussion.
Look at the reaction Xi Jinping policies are causing. Conflicts with Uighurs and Christians in China. Territorial conflicts with Japan, Korea, Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia. What a record. China evidently sees Vietnam as a little country they can push around. Vietnam evidently doesn't see things that way. In politics it's never a good sign when your enemies multiply as your allies decline.
Japan = Comfortable Citizens neutered by Article 9 with Russia above them.
Korea = North Korea a stone throws away with nuclear bombs, also happens to be China's ally; will rush the DMZ at a moments notice if South Korea gets uppity.
Philippines = Poor, uneducated, unorganized, will not be able to get an upper hand even with U.S. assistance and if the U.S. makes it obvious they are behind this all Russia will also respond.
Indonesia = Too far away to be of any concern. Also poor and unorganized.
Malaysia = Same as Indonesia.
China is alright.
So we place an amber warning when protestors torch a building but we don't put an amber warning when people get indiscriminately slashed and killed by people.
International law, via treaty or other, is based on agreement and nations can change their views on what treaties make sense over time. A nation might have respected another nation's view on the return of fugitive slaves but changed that over time. The bottom line is that Vietnam and the Philippines and most of the other ASEAN nations whose territory China claims do not agree that it is Chinese territory. At one time Vietnam was a vassal state of China. It is not now. Singapore was once part of the British Commonwealth post-independence but withdrew from that treaty. CHina has changed its diplomatic positions too. To expect nations to accept china's unilateral claims to control its neighbors is just plain foolish.
How About
So far as we are on generalizations- doesn't it also depend on the fine prints, and, should there be none, reversion to the state prior to the treaty or to the earlier state that brought about the incident and the treaty?
How About: how about considering the irony of the avatar you use - it is a Guy Fawkes mask. If you didn't already know, Guy Fawkes was an English Catholic conspirator who tried to blow up the English Houses of Parliament in the 17th century. He was caught and burnt at the stake, as every English schoolboy knows.
So, as a CCP apologist, please explain (1) why you use the symbol of a hated Western icon (I know China doesn't need any Western influences now it is nearly the most powerful country the world has ever seen (sic)) and (2) why you find this symbol appropriate given it represents violent overthrow of the establishment. Surely, some mistake?
Perhaps just replace your avatar with, maybe, a picture of Mao or, better, 5 x 10c coins?
How About
Didn't Prozac help? It's Xanax time!
And you appear to have answered your own questions in the above post....




SCMP.com Account