Vietnam official in Taiwan apologizes for violence


Taiwan and China called on Vietnam to apologise for recent protests against their companies that turned violent and have led to at least one death.

The protests follow a standoff in which Chinese and Vietnamese ships have been locked since early this month after Beijing deployed an oil rig near disputed Islands which are claimed by Hanoi.

In Taiwan, Vietnam’s envoy to Taipei, Bui Trong Van, told media he was personally sorry for the “suffering” of Taiwanese business people.

Taiwan’s foreign minister, David Lin, said the Vietnamese government should “punish the perpetrators as soon as possible” and look into compensation for those affected by the violence.

Anti-China protests that started peacefully have ended in violence and vandalism, with 400 factories suspected of having links with China destroyed or damaged by mobs.

One Chinese worker was killed and scores more injured at a huge Taiwanese steel mill that was overrun by a 1,000-strong crowd.

Lin’s sentiments were echoed in Beijing, where foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said two Chinese nationals had died and at least 100 injured.

However, only one death had been officially confirmed as a result of the violence.

Hua called on Vietnam to “harshly punish the criminals and to pay compensation for all losses incurred by Chinese enterprises and individuals.”

However, Vietnam’s prime minister sent a text message to millions of citizens late on Thursday and Friday that didn’t directly condemn the riots that have broken out.

There were no reports of any new violence or protests on Friday.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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