Protesters Torch Supposedly Chinese Factories in Vietnam

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Angry rioters set fire to about 10 factories in Vietnam in protest of recent actions by the Chinese military to deploy an oil rig in the South China Sea. As many as 20,000 protesters participated in the event. There are no reports of any injuries as of now.

The New York Times is reporting that the Chinese embassy in Hanoi advised Chinese people to avoid going outside unless necessary due to the continued hostilities.

A staff member at the Chutex Garment Factory north of Ho Chi Minh City said 8,000 to 10,000 workers were involved in the rampage at his factory. The staff member, who agreed to speak on condition that his name not be used, said the rioters “burned everything, all of the materials, computers, machines.”

According to the Associated Press, the protesters attacked and looted factories that they believed to be Chinese-owned, but many of them were apparently Taiwanese-owned in actuality (including the aforementioned Chutex). On Wednesday morning, men on motor cycles drove around the industrial park waving Vietnamese flags.

The incident with the factories comes on the heels of last weekend, when “Vietnam’s authoritarian government gave rare permission for street protests against China in cities across the country.”

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.