• Fri
  • Aug 29, 2014
  • Updated: 11:01am

‘They beat up every Chinese they found’: Residents flee Vietnam ahead of planned weekend protest

Chinese factory manager tells of looting and fear after mob storms Chinese plant

PUBLISHED : Friday, 16 May, 2014, 2:40pm
UPDATED : Friday, 16 May, 2014, 9:43pm

Hundreds of Chinese were today fleeing Vietnam ahead of expected large-scale anti-China demonstrations planned for the weekend, following the deaths of at least two during riots.

While many have sought refuge in neighbouring Cambodia, more have rushed to major airports to fly to back to China until the violence dies down.

Among the groups of mostly middle-aged men flying out of Ho Chih Minh City Airport today was a shoe factory manager, surnamed Guo, who said he had been forced to hide at his home in Vietnam’s second city before he was able to fly back to Guangzhou.

Watch: Protesters torch Chinese factories in Vietnam

Guo said he feared for his safety after his workplace was looted by “hundreds”, with police unable to stop the protesters. He added that he had been shown pictures of Chinese people beaten up by rioters in Vietnam’s industrial areas.

“I was afraid. Friends sent me photos of Chinese people beaten up. They beat up every Chinese they found,” he told the South China Morning Post. “We just hid at home [until] the consulate told us it was safe to drive to the airport.

“It was completely unexpected. I was out of the office when they called to say it had been looted,” he said, adding that the police were overpowered. “You can’t stop it when there are so many people.”

He said he was one of 11 Chinese managerial staff to leave the plant. “We left two staff at the factory. We’ll come back as soon as they say its safe.”

Vietnam's Council of Taiwanese Chambers of Commerce has issued a warning to Chinese businesses that may be targeted in the next few days. It urged these firms to raise the Vietnamese flag over their offices and to remove or cover Chinese characters on their buildings or gates.

At least two Chinese have died, and around 90 been injured during the riots, in which Vietnamese protesters attacked Chinese businesses and torched factories over Beijing’s establishment of an oil rig in the disputed Paracel Islands weeks ago.

Guo said he left his family behind in Guangdong when the factory moved to Vietnam two years ago, as labour was cheaper.


He said authorities had visited the looted factory soon afterwards and offered a tax rebate as compensation for the damage. But Guo is sceptical. “You can’t expect compensation here,” he said, adding that about 100 local factory workers did not participate in the looting.

“These are good people; they want to return to work,” he said.

The Taiwanese chamber of commerce warned that the protests would continue in the northern industrial zones, downtown Hanoi and other cities where there are Chinese businesses.

"All companies should be prepared to avoid the situation that the protest evolving to violent activities," it said, listing the safety recommendations.

"Enhance safety; ask the local government for help," it said in a statement. "Stay away from the protesting crowds to avoid riots. Do not walk close to take photos."

Two of the 10 flights on the departure board at Ho Chih Minh City Airport are headed to Hong Kong, and two each to the mainland and Taiwan.

In the departures hall around 50 mainlanders and Taiwanese in a room of mostly tourists asked each other where they were from and where they were headed. Many were discussing the riots, asking, “Was there any damage?”

At the arrival area, large billboards for the Bank of China, Bank of Communications and HSBC loom over passengers. One American-Chinese tourist in his 20s, when asked about the violence, said he wasn’t too concerned.

“I’ll be sure to keep away from that. Hopefully I will be busy drinking.”

With additional reporting from Keira Lu Huang


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This article is now closed to comments

China only gets what they have been asking for since a long time.
If you keep treating someone as your enemy, your wish may just come true even though you are bluffing all along.
Once war commences it will be your last bluff.
What does it say about you if you cannot address an issue properly instead of attacking someone with blind rage...
I agree this is horrible and shouldn't happen. This said i find it funny though that I haven't seen such a one-sided outcry when japanese were beaten up and Japanese factory burnt in China when the crisis with the senkaku islands started.
You must be a one eyed jack
Nicole Xi
And why is it that syracuse37 is a "one eyed jack"?
This is absolutely disgusting and the fact that the Vietnamese government allowing it to continue makes the situation even worst. Most people don't realize if it wasn't for the Chinese government arming the Vietnamese in their war against America, the North Vietnamese would had never over ran the south. And for decades after, billions of dollars pours into the Vietnamese economy from China and Taiwan giving millions of Vietnamese jobs and a standard of living they never would had achieve without Chinese investment. I hope China and Taiwan take their money out of that country and the MILLION of jobs it provides to the Vietnamese people and see what can the Vietnamese government do for them.
By your logic, Japan should "take their money out of" China and the "MILLION" of jobs it provides the Chinese people.
China has to stop lying to itself and seriously look in the mirror and ask itself where are its friends? Malaysia and Indonesia are also joining the anti-China camp.
Edit: Billions of dollars poured into the Chinese economy from the West giving millions of Chinese jobs and a standard of living they never would had achieve without Western investment.
Maybe the Chinese should be a little more respectful of the economic order they begged to join after the failings of CPC policy: Great Leap Forward, Cultural Revolution, etc.
Nicole Xi
Very true




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