PM orders authorities to safeguard foreigners’ lives, properties

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has ordered the Ministry of Public Security, other ministries, and local authorities to protect the lives and properties of foreign investors in the various provinces where workers have protested against China's acts in the East Sea.

Demonstrations broke out as people from every walk of life took to the streets against China’s illegal deployment of an oil rig in Vietnamese waters.

But in some places, people destroyed foreign businesses’ properties and even prevented law-enforcement officers from discharging their duty, causing public disorder and affecting daily life, vitiating the investment environment, and undermining the government’s external relations policies.

Dung ordered the Ministry of Public Security and local governments to take effective measures to prevent violence and illegal acts and safeguard foreign investors.
Relevant authorities should urge people not to break the law or be incited by bad elements, he said.

He instructed relevant ministries and agencies to help businesses affected in the riots resume normal operations as soon as possible.

Minister of Planning and Investment Bui Quang Vinh has written to embassies and foreign business groups in Vietnam, explaining that there were spontaneous demonstrations by workers and others upset by China’s illegal placement of oil rig Haiyang Shiyou 981 in Vietnamese waters in violation of Vietnam’s sovereignty.

But they were joined by bad elements disguised as workers to incite others to break the law and cause social disorder, thereby destroying the country’s investment environment, he said.

The government would take appropriate measures to prevent such illicit acts, he assured them.

Many of the saboteurs have been arrested and would be punished under the law, he said, adding the government is exhorting people not to listen to provocateurs.

On May 15 Le Hoang Quan, the chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee, met with officials from several consulates and foreign business groups in the city. 

The latter expressed concern over the violent acts in industrial parks and export processing zones in the southern provinces of  Binh Duong, Dong Nai, and HCMC and hoped the government and local authorities would support the businesses that have suffered damage in the riots.

They also called for effective measures to safeguards lives and properties of investors and foreigners working and studying in the country, especially HCMC.

Quan promised that the government would do everything it can to prevent such acts.

He urged unions and associations at companies to advise workers to focus on working and not listen to provocateurs and break the law.

Investors should call the hot line in HCMC if such acts occur again, he said.

The government is considering how to support businesses and wants them to liaise with relevant agencies to find solutions to such problems and to nurture relations, he added.

By staff writers - Translated by Uyen Phuong

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