Enraged by China, Vietnam Mobs Torch 15 Factories
South China Sea protest spins out of control
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted May 14, 2014 1:04 AM CDT
Vietnamese protesters hold banners during a protest rally in Saigon.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – Anti-China mobs torched up to 15 foreign-owned factories and trashed many more in southern Vietnam last night amid rising anger over China's recent installment of an oil rig in disputed Southeast Asian waters. The unrest at industrial parks established to attract foreign investors, which followed protests involving up to 20,000 workers, was the most serious outbreak of public disorder in the tightly controlled country in years, and comes as the government tries to manage public anger against China while itself protesting Chinese actions in a part of the South China Sea it claims as its own.

An official says the protests were initially peaceful but were hijacked by "extremists" who incited people to break into the factories. He said at least 15 factories were set alight and "hundreds" more vandalized or looted, while some security guards and unidentified "foreign experts" were assaulted. China's foreign ministry has issued a statement urging Chinese travelers to "carefully consider travel plans and go with caution" and Chinese residents and organizations in Vietnam to "raise their risk awareness and strengthen security."

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May 15, 2014 10:55 AM CDT
The Vietnamese have a right to be angry about Chinese actions with the oil rig. However, many of the factories burnt are owned by Taiwanese - Chinese, but not Peoples Republic of China Chinese. Taiwan has been under threat from the mainland since Chang Kai Shek fled to the island after losing the mainland in the civil war to Mao and the Communists. Though relations between Taiwan and mainland have improved, they are still not the same country (unless you accept the official mainland Chinese view.)
May 14, 2014 12:15 PM CDT
They should burn own all the cheap slave manufacturing plants in China and give the jobs back to Americans.
May 14, 2014 9:18 AM CDT
Since their country won't fight back against the aggression the people might as well take things in their own hands...burn baby burn! Screw China!