Taiwan issues travel alert before Vietnam rallies

Taiwan issues travel alert before Vietnam rallies
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

TAIPEI, Taiwan - The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) yesterday issued an "orange" travel alert for District 1 of Ho Chi Minh City due to anti-China protests slated to take place there and in other locations today.

According to MOFA, there have been reports of further possible protests over China's deployment of a drilling rig in contested waters, so the travel alert for Dist. 1 of Ho Chi Minh City, the largest city in southern Vietnam, has moved to orange, the second highest level, meaning that Taiwanese travelers should take precautions and avoid the area if possible.

MOFA yesterday also issued a "yellow" travel alert for all of Vietnam.

Travel alerts for Binh Duong and Dong Nai provinces, where over 100 Taiwanese-owned companies had been attacked and damaged by Vietnamese protesters, remain orange, MOFA said.

Protesters are expected to gather near the mainland Chinese Embassy in Hanoi, northern Vietnam, and in other areas in northern provinces of the country where Chinese businesses are based, MOFA officials said.

In Ho Chi Minh City, rallies could be held in areas such as the centre of Dist. 1, City Hall and the office of China's Consulate General, MOFA said.

MOFA pointed out that 13 venues in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Binh Duong and Dong Nai provinces, among others, have been designated as emergency shelters for Taiwanese expatriates.

Meanwhile, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Offices in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City have notified all Taiwanese currently living or staying in Vietnam and warned them to avoid traveling alone and to stay away from protests.

Taiwan's Representative to Vietnam, Huang Chih-peng, said that 10 temporary shelters have been established along with shuttle buses that can carry Taiwanese nationals directly to the airport in Ho Chi Minh City if necessary.

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