Taipei, June 16 (CNA) The Vietnamese government is hoping to repair its battered image by inviting two Taiwanese delegations to Vietnam on Tuesday to see how areas hit by anti-China
riots in May are recovering. The two delegations, composed of 36 travel agents and media workers, will be led by Vietnam's representative to Taiwan, Bui Trong Van, and visit Taiwanese companies in Binh Duong and Dong Nai provinces, the areas hardest hit by the attacks. The Vietnam Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei said that thanks to the Vietnamese government's timely intervention, most affected companies have returned to work and most scenic spots around the country are again open for visitors. The office said media workers were being invited to give them a clearer understanding of how things are returning to normal through talks with local governments and Taiwanese companies operating there and help them provide accurate information on the areas' investment environment.
The protests erupted on May 13 after Vietnamese crowds took to the streets to protest a Chinese oil-drilling venture in an area of the South China Sea that Hanoi insists is in its exclusive economic zone. The riots in the southern provinces of Binh Duong, Dong Nai and Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Ho Chi Minh city and the central province of Ha Tinh affected 425 Taiwanese enterprises, 25 of which were seriously damaged. While direct losses ranged between US$150 million to US$500 million, total damages could be as high as US$1 billion once lost profit and other indirect costs are factored in. (By Tony Fang, James Lee and Evelyn Kao)