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MOFA summons Vietnam representative over violence
Airlines to send bigger planes to evacuate Taiwanese
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-05-14 05:19 PM
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned Vietnam’s representative in Taiwan Wednesday to express concern about the violence directed at Taiwanese investors, while airlines were preparing to help more Taiwanese flee the Southeast Asian country.

The arson and looting attacks were mainly the result of China deploying naval vessels to protect a new oil rig erected in a disputed South China Sea area. The anger of the protesters was directed against all factories and persons seen as Chinese, including Taiwanese and Singaporeans, reports said.

Foreign Minister David Lin strongly condemned the violence during his meeting with Bui Trong Van, head of the Vietnam Economic and Cultural Office. He also demanded the authorities protect Taiwanese nationals and factories and consider paying compensation for the damage.

The Vietnamese representative reportedly told Lin he had already reported Taiwan’s concerns to Hanoi and promised to do its best to protect foreign investments. The compensation issue was up for discussion, the diplomat reportedly told the minister.

MOFA “hopes Vietnam will immediately take the necessary measures to restore order,” Lin told a news conference.

MOFA raised its alert level for Ho Chi Minh City to yellow because violence had reportedly spread to the former South Vietnamese capital. Two other provinces, where most of the violence took place Tuesday, were subject to an orange alert, with the government cautioning against unnecessary travel to those regions. An estimated 240 Taiwanese business people and their relatives in Binh Duong Province had taken refuge at a hotel, where they temporarily enjoyed the protection of the authorities, reports said.

Taiwanese businesses and organizations were reportedly taking down or covering up Chinese characters in order to avoid drawing attention.

At least two Taiwanese schools in Vietnam had suspended their operations for the next few days, while Taiwanese citizens were rushing to buy airline tickets home, reports said. China Airlines and EVA Air said they would supply an extra 371 seats for flights from Vietnam to Taiwan Thursday. For the time being, they were not planning extra flights but would only replace the originally scheduled aircraft with bigger models, the airlines said.

A handful of protesters showed up outside the Vietnamese office in Taipei led by Chang An-lo, the former gang leader popularly known by his nickname as the”White Wolf.” He told reporters he did not exclude the possibility of protesting each single day. A secretary appeared to accept a petition from the protesters.

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