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Factories in S'pore-run industrial parks in Vietnam hit by riots

Four factories in two Singapore-run industrial parks in Vietnam were set on fire on Tuesday night during Vietnamese anti-China protests.

SINGAPORE: Four factories in two Singapore-run industrial parks in Vietnam were set on fire on Tuesday night during Vietnamese anti-China protests.

The VSIP Binh Duong industrial parks 1 and 2 are managed by an associate company of Singapore's Sembcorp Industries. There are more than 400 operating companies in the two industrial parks, and many have stopped work since.

The four affected factories are from Taiwan and China.

In a statement, Sembcorp Development said about 200 tenant employees were evacuated, and that there were no reports of casualties.

A spokesperson added that local police have taken over security at the two parks.

Anti-China mobs torched up to 15 foreign-owned factories and trashed many more in southern Vietnam as anger over the recent deployment by China of an oil rig in disputed South China Sea waters spun dangerously out of control, according to news reports out of Vietnam.

The unrest at industrial parks established to attract foreign investors was the most serious outbreak of public disorder in years.

In response to media queries, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman said: "MFA has been informed of the protests that have broken out at the Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Parks (VSIP) I and II in Binh Duong and that a number of foreign companies have been broken into and set on fire.

"Singapore views this issue very seriously given our close economic cooperation with Vietnam. The Singapore Embassy in Hanoi and the Consulate-General in Ho Chi Minh City have separately requested the relevant Vietnamese authorities to restore order urgently."

"(On Wednesday) morning, MFA called in the Vietnam ambassador to Singapore to register its serious concerns about the security situation in VSIP I and II, and the attacks on foreign companies in the two industrial parks.

"MFA requests the Vietnamese government to act immediately to restore law and order in the two VSIPs before the security situation worsens and investor confidence is undermined."

The ministry added that the Singapore government is monitoring the situation closely and so far, there have not been any reports of Singaporeans affected by the demonstration.

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