2 Chi­nese killed in Viet­nam ri­ots

Bei­jing strongly con­demns at­tacks and urges Hanoi to pun­ish of­fend­ers

China Daily (Canada) - - CHINA - By ZHANG YUNBI zhangyunbi@chi­nadaily.com.cn

At least two Chi­nese work­ers were killed and more than 100 in­jured in es­ca­lat­ing anti-China ri­ots and protests in Viet­nam.

Hun­dreds of Chi­nese fac­to­ries op­er­at­ing in the coun­try were ei­ther de­stroyed by ri­ot­ers or forced to close.

Bei­jing said the ri­ot­ing and protests had been staged “with the in­dul­gence and con­nivance” of the Viet­namese govern­ment.

For­eign Min­is­ter Wang Yi “strongly con­demned” the vi­o­lence, and lodged a protest against the Viet­namese govern­ment.

In a tele­phone call to Viet­namese For­eign Min­is­ter Pham Binh Minh on Thurs­day night, Wang said Hanoi bore un­shirk­able re­spon­si­bil­ity for the ri­ots against Chi­nese businesses in Viet­nam.

He urged Viet­nam to take ef­fec­tive mea­sures to end the vi­o­lence, se­verely pun­ish the crim­i­nals and com­pen­sate the Chi­nese en­ter­prises and in­di­vid­u­als for their losses.

Many of the fac­to­ries were op­er­ated by businesses from the Chi­nese main­land, Tai­wan and Sin­ga­pore.

Xin­hua re­ported that at least two Chi­nese work­ers were con­firmed dead, but there were fears that many more Chi­nese na­tion­als may have been killed.

A doc­tor at a hospi­tal in the cen­tral Viet­namese prov­ince of Ha Tinh told Reuters that 16 Chi­nese and five Viet­namese work­ers were killed on Wed­nes­day.

A high-rank­ing of­fi­cial at China 19th Met­al­lur­gi­cal Corp said: “By our count, the hospi­tal has re­ceived 75 Chi­nese na­tion­als. Dozens of Chi­nese were sent to an­other provin­cial hospi­tal.”

His com­pany was one of the worsthit on Wed­nes­day among the Chi­nese en­ter­prises op­er­at­ing in Viet­nam.

A steel mill in Ha Tinh prov­ince owned by For­mosa Plas­tics from Tai­wan was de­stroyed.

Lo­cal of­fi­cial Dang Quoc Khanh said one male Chi­nese worker was killed in the chaos and at least 149 people in­jured, Viet­nam Tele­vi­sion re­ported, adding that po­lice had ar­rested 76 people.

For­eign Min­istry spokes­woman Hua Chun­y­ing said at a news brief­ing in Bei­jing on Thurs­day that the vi­o­lence tar­get­ing Chi­nese had “a di­rect link with the Viet­namese govern­ment’s in­dul­gence and con­nivance in re­cent days to­ward do­mes­tic an­tiChina forces and law­break­ers”.

The at­tacks against Chi­nese businesses erupted af­ter anti-China protests and af­ter Viet­namese ships re­peat­edly ha­rassed drilling op­er­a­tions by a Chi­nese oil com­pany in wa­ters off China’s Zhongjian Is­land in the South China Sea, ac­cord­ing to me­dia re­ports.

Qu Xing, pres­i­dent of the China In­sti­tute of In­ter­na­tional Stud­ies, said the root cause of the lat­est tur­moil was me­dia cam­paigns backed by the Viet­namese govern­ment that fanned an­tiChina sen­ti­ments.

“Hanoi even sent re­porters to the fore­front of mar­itime con­fronta­tions at the oil rig. Even worse, the Viet­namese govern­ment has not taken mea­sures to stop the vi­o­lence. It will pay a price for this,” Qu said.Cam­bo­dian im­mi­gra­tion po­lice said 600 Chi­nese had crossed into the coun­try through the bor­der with south­ern Viet­nam on Wed­nes­day, The As­so­ci­ated Press re­ported.

At Ho Chi Minh City air­port, Chi­nese were ar­riv­ing in large groups on Wed­nes­day, queu­ing to grab tick­ets or get on the first flights to Malaysia, Cam­bo­dia, Sin­ga­pore, Tai­wan and the Chi­nese main­land.

Sin­ga­pore, Viet­nam’s sec­ond-largest in­vestor af­ter Ja­pan, called on Hanoi to take ur­gent ac­tion be­fore the se­cu­rity sit­u­a­tion wors­ened and in­vestor con­fi­dence was un­der­mined.

Jonathan Lon­don, a pro­fes­sor at City Univer­sity of Hong Kong, was quoted by Agence France-Presse as say­ing the ri­ot­ing showed the haz­ards of na­tion­al­ist fer­vor be­ing un­leashed.

The un­rest was also hurt­ing the coun­try’s rep­u­ta­tion as a safe in­vest­ment des­ti­na­tion, an As­so­ci­ated Press re­port said.

Viet­namese Min­is­ter of Plan­ning and In­vest­ment Bui Quang Vinh said 400 fac­to­ries had been dam­aged.

“The in­vest­ment im­age that we have been build­ing over the past 20 years is turn­ing very ugly,” the state-run La­bor news­pa­per quoted him as say­ing.

Viet­namese Prime Min­is­ter Nguyen Tan Dung told po­lice on Thurs­day that any­one in­volved in vi­o­lence should be pun­ished se­verely, but peace­ful protests over the past few days had been “le­git­i­mate”.

Li Guo­qiang, deputy di­rec­tor of the Cen­ter for Chi­nese Border­land His­tory and Ge­og­ra­phy at the Chi­nese Academy of So­cial Sci­ences, said Viet­nam had long been gripped by na­tion­al­is­tic sen­ti­ment and the govern­ment’s “ir­ra­tional moves have posed a se­ri­ous threat to re­gional sta­bil­ity”.

“Hi­jack­ing pub­lic opin­ion will only make things worse and sab­o­tage mu­tual trust with China”, Li said.

Wu Shi­cun, pres­i­dent of the Na­tional In­sti­tute for South China Sea Stud­ies, de­scribed Viet­nam as a “trou­ble­maker”, say­ing it had in­ten­si­fied provo­ca­tion re­cently against China.

China had ex­er­cised re­straint to the largest ex­tent and Viet­nam should never ex­pect Bei­jing to trade ter­ri­to­rial sovereignty for short-term peace, Wu said. Reuters and AFP con­trib­uted to this story.

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