A hooligan breaks a company in an industrial park in Binh Duong Province on May 13
Authorities on the industrial outskirts of Ho Chi Minh City announced strict punishments on Wednesday for the "hooligans" who incited factory workers demonstrating against China's actions in the East Sea to damage property belonging to foreign-invested companies throughout the province.
The Binh Duong Province People’s Committee said it has asked police and relevant authorities to take measures to protect all property from acts of hooliganism and called on local residents to act with restraint, follow instructions from authorities and to resist incitement to illegal acts.
The committee said that, as of 1 am Wednesday, hundreds of companies, mostly Chinese, Taiwanese and South Korean-invested ones, had been infiltrated by vandals.
As many as 15 companies had their warehouses set ablaze, causing billions of dong in losses and leaving thousands of workers at risk of losing their jobs.
On Tuesday morning, around 800 workers in Di An Town and around 5,000 workers of Giay Thong Dung Company in Thuan An Town staged a demonstration in the Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Park 1 (VSIP 1) in Thuan An.
The workers waved banners and Vietnamese national flags to protest China’s deployment of a giant drilling rig in Vietnam’s territorial waters.
The demonstration began peacefully but turned violent at noon when a number of individuals broke into industrial campuses and demanded that company leaders allow their workers to stop working and join the protest.
The rally reached around 19,000 workers in total at which point, it split into groups and flooded into industrial parks in Di An, Thuan An, Tan Uyen and Ben Cat towns, where the crowds continued to incite other workers to stop working and join the demonstration.
A number of people incited the workers to destroy company property. Some took advantage of the chaos to loot, set warehouses on fire and attack security guards.
Provincial leaders arrived at the scenes to instruct police and relevant authorities to stop the demonstration and tamp down the disorder.
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