Vietnamese Mob Burns Foreign Factories In Anti-China Riots (21 Dead, 90 Injured)

Tyler Durden's picture

UPDATE 2: Reuters reports  - citing a doctor at Ha Tinh Hopsital - 21 dead (5 Vietnamese, 16 "described as Chinese")

UPDATE 1: The Standard reports Anti-chinese riot leaves 1 dead, 90 injured in Vietnam

A top Taiwanese diplomat says rioters have stormed a large Taiwanese steel mill in Vietnam, killing at least one Chinese worker and injuring 90 more.


Ambassador to Vietnam Huang Chih-peng said the violence took place late Wednesday and early Thursday at the Formosa steel mill in central Vietnam.


Anti-Chinese sentiment has been running high in Vietnam ever since Beijing deployed an oil rig into disputed waters in the South China Sea on May 1.


Earlier this week, mobs burned and looted scores of foreign-owned factories in southern Vietnam, believing they were Chinese-run, but many were actually Taiwanese or South Korean

For background on the what, where, when, and how China decided to do this see here... and why China decided now was the right time, see here.


Mike Krieger at Liberty Blitzkrieg has some more color:

As the war/civil unrest cycle continues to march forward, there appear to be two main geopolitical tinderboxes percolating at the moment. While we all know about Ukraine/Russia, which will only get worse in the months ahead, the South China Sea looks like it may be about to burst out into overt conflict.

The mob irrationally damaged mostly Taiwanese factories, but the focus of the ire was clear: China.

Screen Shot 2014-05-14 at 4.34.58 PM

Reuters reports that:

(Reuters) – Thousands of Vietnamese set fire to foreign factories and rampaged in industrial zones in the south of the country in an angry reaction to Chinese oil drilling in a part of the South China Sea claimed by Vietnam, officials said on Wednesday.


The brunt of Tuesday’s violence, one of the worst breakdowns in Sino-Vietnamese relations since the neighbors fought a brief border war in 1979, appears to have been borne by Taiwanese firms in the zones in Binh Duong and Dong Nai provinces that were mistaken for Chinese-owned companies.


Photographs posted on social media sites and blogs, purportedly of the aftermath of the violence, showed blackened shipping containers, smashed windows and several burnt out vehicles that had been overturned.


“I fear a dark chapter in Sino-Vietnamese relations is now being written,” 



"CCP - Leave East China Sea"

Submitted by Shannon Tiezzi via The Diplomat,

Anti-Chinese sentiment in Vietnam spilled over into rioting on Tuesday, with Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs reporting that two Taiwanese citizens were injured.  The New York Times’ Chinese-language webpage cited local officials as saying there had been no deaths.

Most of the violence centered on industrial zones in the provinces of Binh Duong and Dong Nai, located respectively to the north and northeast of Ho Chi Minh City. Although the protests were sparked by anger at a Chinese oil rig operating in waters Vietnam claims as its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), rioters also damaged Taiwanese companies in the area. As the Taiwanese news agency CNA reported, the rioters targeted factories “with signs bearing Chinese characters or those with Chinese nationals as managers, many of which are actually Taiwanese companies.” Factories owned by Japanese, South Korean, and Singaporean citizens were also damaged in the riots.

Tran Van Nam, the vice chairman of Binh Duong province’s People’s Committee, told Reuters that the riots began after over 20,000 people turned out for what had been peaceful protests. In the course of the riot, 15 factories were set on fire, according to Nam.  He estimated hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of damage had been done. Taiwan’s representative to Vietnam, Huang Chih-peng, said that the riots had affected almost 1,000 Taiwanese companies in Binh Duong province alone.

The president of Formosa Industries Corp, one of the affected companies, said that rioters had looted electronic equipment as well as the personal belongings of factory workers.  He complained that a lack of police presence in the area had allowed the rioters to run unchecked. The central government sent riot police and the military to help restore order to the affected areas. According  to local police, over 440 people have been detained for their role in the riots. Most factories in the area remained shut down on Wednesday, although reports indicated the violence has stopped.

Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued a travel alert for Binh Duong and Dong Nai provinces, warning citizens to “avoid unnecessary travel” to those areas. China’s embassy in Vietnam posted a similar warning to its homepage, telling Chinese citizens to take precaution to ensure their safety and not to go out unless absolutely necessary. A spokesman for China’s Foreign Ministry demanded that Vietnam “adopt effective measures to … protect the safety of Chinese citizens and institutions.”

Tuesday’s riots came after several days of demonstrations in Vietnam against what is seen as Chinese encroachment into Vietnamese territory. Over the weekend, protestors rallied outside the Chinese embassy in Hanoi. The protestors were seen as having government support, as previous protests targeting China had been broken up by the authorities.

The anti-China riots bring a worrying extra dimension to what is already a tense crisis in the South China Sea. Continued violence against Chinese businesses could spark counter-protests in China. Intense domestic furor in both Vietnam and China would make a peaceful resolution to the oil rig confrontations even less likely. For now, at least, China appears to be trying to keep news of the riots from spreading, perhaps in an attempt to prevent public outrage. Chinese media outlets have been ordered not to report on the riots, according to China Digital Times.

Meanwhile, the damage done to Taiwanese factories also drags Taiwan into the dispute between Vietnam and the PRC. Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs called for increased security to protect Taiwanese businesspeople in the area, and also requested that Hanoi compensate business owners for damage done during the riots.


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BrosephStiglitz's picture


Get me off this hunk of rock.  The apes are taking over. 

knukles's picture

Why can't we all just get a wong?

kliguy38's picture

If you were Hung Tu Long you would understand

BlackChicken's picture

Only wish it were a factory where they make bankers.

CrazyCooter's picture

China and Vietnam are huge trading partners. The market relationship between the two is very significant. While these VN vs CN reports are inflammatory, one has to take pause and think what the elites (in VN and CN) are thinking.

CN ruled VN for almost 1k years if I am not mistaken in my history. The French took over, followed by the US, followed by independence. VN is one of the few countries that actually routed the US, albeit thought atypical situations.

If CN really wants to ball gag VN, all hell is going to break loose.

CN and the US are facing desperate collapses in their monetary systems. War is the last refuge.

I sincerely hope peace reigns and we get banker decorations for X-mas trees this year, else is might be a billion (or three) dead.



EDIT: And I forgot to mention that on the demographic angle, VN is one of the few "industrial" countries with a young population due to the wars. Looking to invest long term? Find a population with *young* people who actually work for a living instead of sponge off government.

fxrxexexdxoxmx's picture

I was told by a friend, who came to California when a boy as one of the boat people refugees, that most Viet hate the Chinese. Not having first hand knowledge, does any one from that area have a better understanding? Are the Chinese hated by the majority of Viet?

Rusty Shorts's picture




So What's picture

Taiwanese are for the most part Chinese. They came over after 1949 from mainland. (if I'm not incorrect about the year.) The native Formosan population, indigenous to the Taiwan island, is a minority now.
Vietnamese know this that's why they torched the Taiwanese factory.

Handful of Dust's picture

Burning your own factories, stores and neighborhood up ... very LA 1960s-ish:

darkpool2's picture

Not so. It simply represented an inability to distinguish what belonged to mainland Chinese business interests and what belonged to others. Korean businesses were also attacked. Bit of xenophobia mixed in with lack of knowledge. This was mob rule, pure and simple..

prains's picture

seems pretty arbitrary to be described "as Chinese". Kinda like being described "as Missourian", what's the tell tale sign that clearly distinguishes them "as Chinese"?....unable to pronounce their 'r's?

fockewulf190's picture

Besides having an accent if they spoke Vietnamese at all, Chinese, as well as South Koreans, just look different. I would bet that anyone working in Vietnam from Singapore was probably also of Chinese decent.

hero HNL's picture

But there are many kinds of mainlanders. In the old days, most were anti-communists & anti-Taiwanese. Today, many pro-mainland Taiwanese collude with the communists to set up factories throughout Asia...usually making money by exploiting cheap labor & making them work like slaves.


That's why Vietnamese are angry. You see the same reaction throughout Asia.


Peanut Butter Engineer's picture

Taiwanese are not Chinese if you ask any tawainese and they will let you know they aren't Chinese

Also Largest minority in Vietnam is of Chinese descendent.

potato's picture

Based on all the liveleak videos, the Chinese have a very high propensity to mind their own business. They will never help you if you are getting assaulted, hit by a car, run over by a scooter, et cetera. The culture is one of not getting involved. 

BrosephStiglitz's picture

Until the simmering public sentiment hits a boil, the dam breaks and they are like the Zerg.  A billion pissed off citizens swarming like locusts.

SylphGlitch's picture

I had to give you +1 for the Zerg reference.

Handful of Dust's picture

potato is correct! When I was in Shenzhen with a Buddy two years ago some Chinese Thugs were bothering a young Chinese female tourist [obviously well-to-do by the way she was dressed] on the main street and NO ONE did squat. when they tried to grab her purse we could not stand by and do nothing so we jumped in and [luckily] they ran away.


It's an odd culture. Except for rare instances [Kitty Genovese comes to mind] most Americans would help someone in trouble [I like to think anyway]. No matter how f*cked our Western culture gets, I hope we never lose that.

hero HNL's picture

In china, there's too many people & sometimes you get sick of looking at others.


Even in US, some people have that kind of attitude. In NYC, people don't bother much when they see dead people on the streets....even in Philly. Too many people die in the streets. Ask any social worker.

Harbanger's picture

Those refugees were running from Communist Chinas Peoples liberation Army.

Snidley Whipsnae's picture

None of the Asians like each other.

When I was living in Japan the Japanese hated the Koreans and the Chinese...

Americans generally don't understand how homophobic the Asians are ... America is a melting pot.

the grateful unemployed's picture

japanese dislike everybody especially americans (verrrily larhge penus)

CheapBastard's picture

Since Korea was conquered and controlled by the Japanese from about 1910 to 1945, there is good reason most Koreans have strong feelings about Japan:


and here:

hero HNL's picture

I hate to say this but your columbia web page is mostly propaganda. Here are some. You can visit Japanese sites on the web for more info.

--Colonial korea prospered under Japanese aid & technology. It was modeled after Taiwan. It was harsh but normal in Asian country of those days.


--Some Koreans worked in factories during the war but not a lot. Some were forced but not all. Working conditions were same as Japanese.


--Koreans were considered as Japanese. Many applied to join Imperial Army, but acceptance rate was about 2%. Korean quality was too low for military & they cannot be trusted for duty unlike the Taiwanese.


--Some comfort women were forced but most were ordinary prostitutes. Prostitution was legal & they were well paid. Business transaction records exist to this day. The prostitution system remained in Korea serving the US military until the mid-1980's...usually to earn hard currency the fastest way. USD was king in those days.


--Koreans were pressured to adopt Japanese names & customs if they wanted to go Japanese schools or go there. There were korean schools too & their culture was preserved. Also, korean newspapers existed before the war. See them on the web.


--There's a korean professor who came out to speak against propaganda & risking his life. He mentions how koreans were eager to be members of the Japanese Empire & most supported the Japanese war effort. Only after the war did they try to re-write history & pretend to be part of the Allies....mostly to enjoy the benefits of becoming a member of the vicotrious Allies. MacArthur never believed their story & threw them out. According to the professor, it's a funny how koreans would cheer when watching the newsreels in the theatre of the Japanese defeating the Allies in the early part of the war.

AnAnonymous's picture

None of the Asians like each other.

That is raycist to say that.

The yellow race hating one another? They are ray-cist.

ObamaDepression's picture

Your friend is right. My spouse came here as one of those boat people. Most Asians don't like the Chinese.


magnetosphere's picture

did you really just say that?  do you think the vietcong loved america?

laomei's picture

Fun fact: most boat people were ethnic chinese

Zero-risk bias's picture

Not surprising being that the largest ethnicity/nationality is also Chinese.

vato poco's picture

I (casually, sorta kinda not-really-well) knew a few Viet boat people back in the day. Not gonna pretend they clapsed me to their scrawny little bosoms or let me see anything they didn't want seen, but can eyewitness report the following:

1) Viets do not like chinese. Nobody in Asia does. Chinese would be the most hated folks in all of Asia, if it weren't know...los Japanese.

2) It is physically impossible to outwork or outtough a Viet. It simply cannot be done.

3) Viets are quite nice folks, and very very impressive. Want a sure-fire investment opportunity? Go find an ambitious Vietnamese, and give him $50K to open whatever business he wants to open. Step 3 = profit handsomely

cro_maat's picture

vato poco - I will back you up on #2 though I know #3 is valid as well.

I had a friend in Richmond, VA who was Viet (boat person) from the Montagnard region of Vietnam. He grew up with tigers and learned various martial arts at an early age. He was all of 5 foot 4 and 90 pounds soaking wet. When a 6 foot 3 biker started to abuse his sister in a biker bar that we were playing pool in, he jumped over the pool table, kicked him in the solar plexus and delivered a blow to the skull with the butt end of a pool cue. Needless to say the biker was dragged from the scene unconscious and no one came near my friend or his sister the rest of the night :) The whole fight took about 2 seconds.

fockewulf190's picture

I know a Vietnamese women over here in Germany who runs a nail shop. She came from Hanoi. She told me herself. They hate the Chinese with a passion.

Thom_333's picture

At least the Viet seem very patriotically minded. You have to admire the action they immidiately take. Though burning factories owned by Taiwan and South Korea seems at bit extreme. They should get their facts right. Actually they could be well served by making friends with the other nationa around the Chinese rim.

rodonmeguro's picture

Behind that placid, inscrutable Asian demeanor lies a temper able to boil over into anger at the slightest provocation, Chinese, Vietnamese, Japanese or Korean.

sessinpo's picture

BlackChicken    Only wish it were a factory where they make bankers.


I'm sure bankers own the factories in some form or another.

Apparently these protesters didn't get the memo that Jews and bankers control the world. sarc

intric8's picture

Two wlling gooks and a dinghy full of improvised land mines leftover from the war

Bye bye oil rig

Rakshas's picture

Not that I have a problem with your premise but I was kinda thinking there's likely a wolf lurking in the depths patiently waiting ......... if you thought Deepwater horizon was a mess...... wait'll this party gets started

wee-weed up's picture



"Why can't we all just get a wong?"

No doubt the prostitutes in the area are lamenting...

"Why can't we all just get a dong?"

wee-weed up's picture

To which the little pot-bellied Nork leader replies...

"I'll send you a Long Dong!"

Georgia_Boy's picture

Which do you mean, the organ or their unit of currency? (both?)

Snidley Whipsnae's picture

Why can't we all just get a bong?

the grateful unemployed's picture

we already have a bong, why can't we get a wok

BandGap's picture

And the prostitutes say "go to wok, get a dong".

Bloody Muppet's picture

Ho Lee Fuk, Sum Ting Wong.

sessinpo's picture

knukles       Why can't we all just get a wong?


I'm sorry you don't have one.

shovelhead's picture

Because 2 wongs never make a wing.