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Extra planes on standby if Taiwanese evacuate from VN
Taiwan News, Staff Writer
2014-05-18 03:23 PM
With 518 anti-China rallies on tap for Sunday in Vietnam, diplomatic sources in Taiwan admitted that the situation in much of the Southeast Asia country was "scary," President Ma Ying-jeou ordered elements in the government to heighten awareness and put units on alert to make resources available on short notice if necessary to support Taiwanese businesses and citizens in Vietnam. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs set up 13 shelters for Taiwanese nations around the country. Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung broadcast SMS messages calling on Vietnamese to put an end to illegal protests that have led to social unrest and security problems throughout much of the country.

Calls by as many as 20 Vietnamese NGOs to demonstrate against China’s provocative acts on Sunday in the capital Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and other places north to south have many edgy Taiwanese ready to flee the country after days of riots resulted in costly destruction and fires in many factories. Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry said Saturday its intelligence indicated that demonstrations were likely to take place in 21 provinces and cities, with one key point likely to be three routes final lead to the Chinese Embassy in Hanoi.

Ma also asked Foreign Minister David Lin to maintain close contact with Bui Trong Van, Hanoi’s representative in the Vietnam Economic and Culture Office in Taipei and urged Vietnamese authorities to act to guarantee the lives and property of Taiwanese working and traveling in Vietnam.

Some reports from rural areas of Vietnam say that workers have been offered remuneration of 400,000 Vietnamese dong (about US$20) per person to participate in demonstrations Sunday. The director of Taiwan’s consulate in Ho Chi Minh City, Chen Po-hsiu, told media Saturday that passions were rising in advance of the planned rallies Sunday, with part of the emotions stemming from the fact that the following day, May 19, is the anniversary of the birth of Vietnam 's founding father Ho Chi Minh.

Chen pointed out that the violence that broke out on Monday, the 13th and continued for several days was unprecedented in Vietnam and the government has said it is stepping up its efforts to ensure that it does not erupt again. Chen noted that police and security personnel have been deployed at the entrances to industrial areas. He cautioned, however, that if the situation continues to deteriorate this weekend, "many Taiwanese business people are going to run."

Vietnam has reportedly deployed 50 police and 60 military police to quell any unrest at FPG’s Ha Tinh Steel Mill. In Thanh Hoa province in central Vietnam, where the Hong Fu shoe factory suffered extensive damage, 40 extra security personnel including riot police and troops have been stationed to prevent violence in the vicinity.

In addition, Vietnamese police have been assigned to patrol offices, residential buildings and schools in Ho Chi Minh where Taiwanese citizens work, live and study. In Binh Duong, Dong Nai and Ho Chi Minh City industrial zones, extra police officers are on duty and gatherings of groups of more than three people are not permitted.

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