Taipei, May 15 (CNA) Hundreds of factories run by Taiwanese businessmen in Vietnam have been affected by the anti-China
riots in the Southeast Asian country earlier in the week, the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) said Thursday. More than 100 of these factories were invaded by rioters, while over 10 were set on fire, Vice Economics Minister Shen Jong-chin said. There are 400 others that have opted to suspend operations out of safety considerations, Shen said. Meanwhile, property damage has been reported in 73 factories, including 15 shoemakers, 14 bicycle part and component manufacturers, 10 textile and garment makers, seven furniture makers, four electrical appliance makers, three publishing and packaging manufacturers and 20 that are categorized as "others," he said. The losses are currently being estimated, according to MOEA officials. Statistics from the Vietnamese government indicate that since March 1988, Taiwanese businessmen have invested in 2,301 projects worth a total of US$27.3 billion in Vietnam, making Taiwan the fourth- largest source of foreign investment there. More than 40,000 Taiwanese businessmen and their families are living in Vietnam, mostly in southern Vietnam, the MOEA said. The riots erupted Tuesday, mainly in the southern province of Binh Duong, after Vietnamese crowds took to the streets to protest a Chinese oil-drilling venture in an area in the South China
Sea that Hanoi regards as its exclusive economic zone. Binh Duong was said to be relatively quiet Thursday and two Taiwanese factories, Kenda Rubber Industrial Co. and bicycle chain manufacturer KMC, in neighboring Dong Nai Province said they will resume operation that day.
(By Tai Ya-chen, Huang Chiao-wen and Y.F. Low)