Vietnam Sends More Forces to Anti-China Protest Area

by The Daily Lede

Vietnam Sends More Forces to Anti-China Protest Area

Vietnam said the security ministry has moved to restore calm in a southern province where anti-China rallies sparked by the placement of a rig in disputed waters damaged factories and left one person reportedly killed.

The property of foreign companies was destroyed in protests in the province of Binh Duong that began May 13, Vietnam’s government said in a posting on its website. The Ministry of Public Security increased forces in the area and the situation has stabilized, the government said in the posting dated yesterday.

Officials will talk to people to let them know they can protest to “express their patriotism in peaceful ways,” as long as they don’t “let bad people take advantage and complicate the situation,” it said.

China’s move to place the rig in contested waters near the Paracel Islands also claimed by Vietnam set off rallies in major Vietnamese cities last weekend and demonstrations in factory parks where foreign companies operate. Those protests turned violent prompting Taiwanese companies with factories in Vietnam to halt operations. A Chinese national was killed in a riot at a Taiwanese mill, Associated Press reported, citing a Taiwanese official it did not name.

With China, Singapore and Taiwan calling for Vietnam to protect their citizens in the country and China telling workers to limit outdoor excursions, Vietnam detained hundreds of protesters for questioning. The country is a hub for clothing and other factories and China is one of its major trading partners.