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Vietnam envoy to Taiwan 'personally' apologises for riots

Published on May 16, 2014 8:06 PM
 
Smoke and flames billow from a factory window in Binh Duong on May 14, 2014, as anti-China protesters set more than a dozen factories on fire in Vietnam, according to state media, in an escalating backlash against Beijing's deployment of an oil rig in contested waters. Vietnam's de facto ambassador to Taiwan on Friday gave a "personal" apology after anti-China protesters ravaged hundreds of Taiwanese factories in his country this week, and said some 1,000 people have been arrested over the violence. -- PHOTO: AFP

TAIPEI (AFP) - Vietnam's de facto ambassador to Taiwan on Friday gave a "personal" apology after anti-China protesters ravaged hundreds of Taiwanese factories in his country this week, and said some 1,000 people have been arrested over the violence.

Two Chinese workers were killed and more than 100 injured in Vietnam's worst anti-China unrest in decades. The violence was sparked by Beijing's deployment of an oil rig in the resource-rich South China Sea, the centre of a territorial row between Vietnam and China.

"A small number of law-breakers damaged and set fire to Taiwanese businessmen's factories and caused panic... I personally expressed regrets and apologies," Bui Trong Van said, speaking in Mandarin.

"Riot police cracked down on (the protesters) and the riots were eased. So far the Vietnamese government has arrested more than 1,000 people and quickly indicted them," he said in a televised press conference in Taipei.

 
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