Several Vietnamese workers in Taiwan voiced concern over the violent anti-China protests in their home country last week and called on their compatriots to exercise restraint.
The Vietnamese workers told the Central News Agency that since the protests in Vietnam erupted earlier last week, they have been trying to tell their friends via social media that Taiwan is different from China and that patriotism should not be about violence, but wisdom.
Vietnamese protesters vandalized and set fire to scores of factories in the southern province of Binh Duong in protest against a Chinese oil-drilling venture in an area of the South China Sea that Hanoi regards as within its exclusive economic zone.
“I really don’t know what else I can do... I feel terrible and very sad because Taiwanese are all very friendly and nice,” said Le Thi-phuong, a 32-year-old domestic caregiver who has been working in Taipei for 10 years.
She added that she feels sorry for the Taiwanese businesspeople in Vietnam who have suffered lossesas a result of the rioting.
One of Le’s friends, Ng Thi-hoa, who also works as a caregiver, said that she was deeply saddened by the incidents.
“Vietnam has finally seen some peace and prosperity recently, but now the riots are scaring all foreign investment away,” Ng said, adding that she has not been sleeping well since the unrest started.
The Vietnamese workers said they had been closely following the latest developments in their home country and hope their government will take immediate steps to restore order.
They also said they hope the incidents will not affect the good ties between Taiwan and Vietnam.
There are currently more than 489,000 foreign workers in Taiwan, 25.6 percent of whom are from Vietnam, making the country the second-largest source of migrant workers in Taiwan, according to official statistics.