Taiwanese criticise ministry's slow reaction to riots

Taiwanese criticise ministry's slow reaction to riots
Rioting destroyed this Chinese-owned shoe factory in the southern Vietnamese province of Binh Duong on Wednesday.

TAIPEI - Some Taiwanese yesterday criticised the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) for not reacting fast enough to the violent demonstrations in Vietnam that have affected many factories founded by Taiwanese people.

According to local reports, many Taiwanese business who hastened to return to Taiwan were not able to book tickets, and they criticised the fact that the violent demonstrations took place on April 13 but MOFA did not hold a press conference until the 14th.

Local reports said that some Taiwanese nationals' family members called MOFA, asking for help, but MOFA officials told them to call the Taipei Economic & Cultural Office in Ho Chi Minh City for information.

Taiwanese business operators have been posting updates on a Facebook page about what is happening in Vietnam. One Taiwanese businessman said that he spent about NT$300,000 (S$12,450) to purchase four flight tickets to return to Taiwan.

Another Taiwanese employee in Vietnam surnamed Ker said that many Taiwanese and Chinese workers hid in covered rooms on April 14 and they heard a group of people rushing in amid the noise of glass shattering.

Ker said that no one called out for help for fear of being heard by the mobs that were searching the dormitory.

According to Ker, on her way to the airport there was a huge traffic jam because a mob randomly stopped vehicles to look for people of Chinese ancestry, so she asked a Vietnamese friend to ride with her so she could arrive at the airport safely.

A Taiwanese businessman surnamed Chen said that the Vietnamese Government ceased operations in all factories for three days, hoping to calm rioters down. However, Chen said, no one dares to speak Chinese in the open and risk being attacked by mobs.

Another businessman surnamed Wang who is trapped in Vietnam said that in order to avoid being attacked Taiwanese people have to dress up to look like the Vietnamese.

Wang said that he borrowed some old clothes from workers and said that all Taiwanese in Vietnam should ride with locals to avoid being targeted by mobs.

Two Chinese Confirmed Dead

Taiwanese businessmen confirmed that two workers from mainland China working for Formosa Plastics Group and another Taiwanese company were killed during the violent demonstrations in Vietnam.

According to a Taiwanese businessmen in Binh Duong province, one Chinese worker was severely injured during a conflict in a factory of Formosa Plastics Group and was later pronounced dead after being rushed to a hospital.

Meanwhile, the body of another Chinese worker was found at the site of a factory that was set on fire by a mob in Binh Doung province, according to a Taiwanese businessmen.

Extra Flights to Vietnam Scheduled

China Airlines yesterday said that two extra flights were scheduled to be dispatched to Ho Chi Minh City in order to carry more passengers back to Taiwan.

According to China Airlines, their two regular flights were also replaced with larger aircraft and the passenger capacity of the three flights could bring 1,167 passengers back to Taiwan.

EVA Air also scheduled an extra flight bound for Ho Chi Minh City that can carry 184 passengers back to Taiwan on Friday.

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