HANOI – One Chinese worker was killed in a riot at a Taiwanese steel plant in Vietnam, police said Thursday, as violence sparked by Beijing’s deployment of an oil rig in contested waters spread.
Vietnam has been shaken by the worst anti-China backlash in decades, with mass protests in major cities and factories attacked and set on fire.
The latest riots took place at a steel mill owned by Taiwanese industrial conglomerate Formosa in Vietnam’s central Ha Tinh province.
“One Chinese worker is dead. We are trying to identify the body,” a local policeman told reporters, speaking on condition of anonymity.
A Taiwanese diplomat said that Chinese workers had been “forced into the corner” of the factory by rioters.
“Totally, 100 Chinese workers were injured . . . The rioters have gone but we are all still concerned they might come back,” Ambassador Huang Chih-peng said, adding that no Taiwanese nationals were hurt.
Local officials in Ha Tinh province repeatedly refused requests for comment.
A doctor at the emergency department of Ha Tinh provincial hospital said medical staff were treating several Chinese patients for injuries.
In the southern province of Binh Duong, riot police were deployed Wednesday after anti-China riots and arson attacks forced several factories to temporarily suspend operations, including a supplier for Nike and Adidas.
China and Vietnam are embroiled in long-standing territorial disputes in the South China Sea over the Paracel and Spratly islands, which both claim.
There have been repeated skirmishes near the controversial oil drilling rig in recent days involving vessels from the two countries, with collisions and the use of water cannon.