TAIPEI - A group of Taiwanese businessmen who escaped from factories in Vietnam returned home safely yesterday and talked about the violent demonstrations that took place there.
According to many returned Taiwanese businessmen, they had to disguise their looks in order to safely leave the factories located within the industrial district.
A businessman surnamed Chen said that on April 13, mobs rushed into various factories in the industrial district, destroying facilities, stealing equipment and beating up people of Chinese ancestry.
Chen said that by the end of the day, the mob blocked all the roads of the industrial district to stop Chinese people from leaving, and all the vehicles that drove by the area had to go through the mob's inspections.
"When the mob saw Chinese people, they dragged them out of the vehicles," said Chen.
According to Chen, he and other Taiwanese people escaped the district by riding locals' motorcycles after disguising their looks.
A Taiwanese employee in Vietnam surnamed Wang said that the mob dragged two company vehicles out to the roads and set them on fire and the equipment and products within the factory were either destroyed or stolen.
Wang said that many Taiwanese employees and businessmen grabbed only their passports and rushed to Ho Chi Minh City without luggage in order to catch the first flight back to Taiwan.
According to Wang, there are over 10,000 Taiwanese businessmen in Vietnam and it is hard for them to reach the airport. Also, there are not enough seats on the flights returning to Taiwan, said Wang.
Some Taiwanese employees who came back from Vietnam yesterday suspected that some Vietnamese police officers secretly work with the mob, and most of them did not react to the unrest actively.
Airlines to Increase Capacity for Vietnam-bound Flights
China Airlines and EVA Air said that the passenger capacity of the flights traveling between Taipei and Ho Chi Minh City will be increased by 371 seats.
According to China Airlines, the aircraft traveling between Taipei and Ho Chi Minh City will be replaced with larger aircraft in order to carry more passengers back to Taiwan.
China Airlines said that so far the flight schedule of the airline remains normal, but the airline will adjust the schedule if necessary.
EVA Air also said that larger aircraft will also be dispatched to travel between Taipei and Ho Chi Minh City.
The Tourism Bureau said that there are about 748 Taiwanese tourists in Vietnam currently, and there are 2,251 people scheduled to visit Vietnam by the end of May.
Deputy Director-General of the Tourism Bureau Liu Hsi-lin said that the bureau already demanded that travel agencies pay close attention to the situation in Vietnam.