TAIPEI - Vice Premier Mao Chi-kuo yesterday requested that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) summon Vietnam's de facto ambassador in Taiwan to ensure that there are enough police and servicemen protecting Taiwanese nationals in Vietnam amid the recent riots.
The Executive Yuan yesterday convened an intragovernmental task force meeting to discuss response measures to the Vietnamese riots.
Mao instructed MOFA to summon the de facto Vietnamese ambassador and ask for guarantees that there will be no more riots of a similar nature.
The vice premier added that Taiwan will seek compensation for damages caused by the rioters.
Foreign Minister David Lin met with the Vietnamese representative Bui Trong Van yesterday morning.
The Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) said that since May 14 it has been coordinating with airlines to make sure that there are enough seats on flights for Taiwanese nationals in Vietnam to return home.
The CAA further stated that there are still vacant seats on these daily flights, adding that airlines will help the government transport R.O.C. nationals back to Taiwan regardless of cost.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs said that instances of rioting have decreased in Vietnam, adding that its Department of Investment Services has set up a window to provide assistance to Taiwanese investors who sustained financial damages during the riots.
Legislature Issues Joint Statement
Lawmakers across party lines yesterday issued a joint statement, demanding that the Vietnamese government protect Taiwanese investors and handle compensations, and that Taiwanese and mainland Chinese be treated separately.
The government should fully assist Taiwanese investors in seeking compensation from the Vietnamese, and it should also provide necessary financial assistance, such as through the Overseas Credit Guarantee Fund, to give discount loans to the victims.
The Legislative Yuan maintains that in terms of history, geography and international law, Nansha, Xisha, Zhongsha, Dongsha Islands and surrounding waters all belong to the Republic of China, the statement read.
Neighbouring parties should abide by international law, avoid taking any unilateral measure that would affect the stability of the South China Sea and exercise self-restraint, the statement went on to say, adding that a peaceful resolution to territorial disputes should be achieved through multilateral communications.
According to Vietnamese reports, more than 700 employees of a Taiwanese-owned shoe factory in Thanh Hoa Province were hospitalized after drinking water from the factory's water dispensers.
The laborers reportedly showed symptoms of dizziness, frothing at the mouth, vomiting and loss of consciousness.
According to Vietnamese media outlet Thanh Nien, the workers began to feel irritation in their throats 15 minutes after drinking the water. Shortly afterwards, they began vomiting and some lost consciousness.
The local authorities held a press conference yesterday, saying that a total of 735 workers were sent to different hospitals and that most have recovered.
According to local sanitation officials, water from the factory's water dispensers did not show traces of poisonous substances and/or heavy metals.
Thanh Nien quoted a worker as saying that there has never been a problem with the factory's water before.
According to local reports, there was an instance of mass food poisoning in 2011 after workers ate food from the factory's cafeteria.