2014 Vietnam anti-China protests

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2014 Vietnam anti-China protest
Vietnamese anti-Chinese protests in Hanoi.jpg
Vietnamese protesters in Hanoi, 11 May 2014
Date10 May–15 July 2014
22 Vietnamese provinces, notably in Bình Dương, Cần Thơ, Đồng Nai, Hà Tĩnh, Hải Phòng, Hà Nội, Hồ Chí Minh, Thái Bình
PRC provinces: Haikou, Sanya and other Chinese cities closer to Vietnam.
Overseas in major cities with large Vietnamese communities, including:
Australia: Melbourne
Canada: Montreal, Toronto
Italy: Milan, Rome
France: Paris
Germany: Berlin, Frankfurt
Japan: Tokyo
USA: Los Angeles, Houston, Orange County, San Diego, San Jose, Washington D.C.
UK: London
Hong Kong: Hong Kong
Caused byChina deployed an oil rig in a disputed section between the two country.
MethodsWorldwide protests, riots in various locations in Vietnam
3 deaths confirmed by Vietnam
4 deaths confirmed by China
21 deaths reported by doctors[1]
100 injured[1]
More than 1,000 arrested[2]

2014 Vietnam anti-China protest (Vietnamese: Biểu tình phản đối Trung Quốc tại Việt Nam 2014) was a series of anti-China protests followed by unrest and riots across Vietnam in May 2014, in response to China deploying an oil rig in a disputed region of the South China Sea.[3][4][5][6][7][8][9]

Although the PRC oil rig was used as the rallying event, several of the early organizers are claimed to have stated that they organized the protests to complain about government repression of free speech and government collaboration with China, and that using the oil rig as the stated cause of the protests was done in an attempt to prevent governmental backlash.[10]

In Bình Dương Province, the province most heavily affected by the protests, only 14 of the 351 factories that were damaged, looted, or destroyed were owned by Chinese corporations.[11]



  • May 11: Anti-China protests started in Hanoi, Da Nang, Can Tho and Ho Chi Minh city. The size and number of protests were unprecedented as the government took the unusual step of permitting street protests to show its displeasure with Beijing.[12]
  • May 12: Workers in a Bình Dương industrial park went on strike to join the anti-China protest.
  • May 13: The protest in Bình Dương and Dong Nai escalated to violent riot. Industrial parks and factories with Chinese characters on their signboards were hit in the first wave of attack. Second and third waves of rioters witnessed other foreign plants (American, German and South Korean included) vandalized. Several factories were burnt down overnight, their equipment damaged and stocks looted by rioters. One death was reported in a torched Taiwanese-invested bicycle factory. Over a thousand were arrested,[13] with many claiming that they have been manipulated by people who distributed flags and T-shirts, and later to join the riot.[14]
  • May 14: Riots flare up in the Formosa Steel Mill in Vung Ang, central Hà Tĩnh Province,[15] in response to a rumour of a Vietnamese worker killed there. Casualty reports varied from 2 to 21.[16] At Binh Duong, in fear of a second wave of riot, many workers formed a barricade inside their factories and chanted "Protecting the workplace means protecting Spratly and Paracel island"[17] Chinese nationals began to flee to Cambodia in hundreds to escape the riots.
  • May 16: Vietnamese and Filipinos staged a joint protest in Manila.[18]
  • May 18: A planned second protest in Hanoi and Saigon which was called for several political and dissident groups were subdued. According to some witnesses, 15 to 20 protesters were seen arrested and thrown into unmarked vans. The government also issue an official statement to urge the populace to express their patriotism in peaceful manners. Further protests by overseas Vietnamese continued in various locations worldwide, including London, Sydney, Paris, Houston, Hong Kong, and Los Angeles, especially in front of Chinese embassies and consulates. In response to the riot, the Chinese government evacuated around 3,000 Chinese nationals from Vietnam by chartered planes and ships, including 16 injured Chinese workers.
  • May 23: A woman died after immolating herself in front of the Independence Palace in Ho Chi Minh City in protest against China.[19]
  • May 25: Another wave of protests occurred in various overseas countries including Hong Kong,[20] and Sweden.[21]
  • May 26: Thanh Nien newspaper reported two men had been sentenced to jail by Vietnamese court for taking part in deadly anti-China rioting. 23-year-old Le Van Nghiem was sentenced to three years in prison for "causing public disorder" and property destruction. 18-year-old Chau Vinh Tuong was sentenced to one year in prison for stealing a computer.[22]
  • June 5: The sinking of another Vietnamese ship by Chinese ships was caught on film.[23]
  • June 20: A 71-year-old man of Vietnamese descent attempted to set himself on fire at the entrance to the Silver Lake Community in Florida's Manatee County, leaving a note protesting recent China's move. The man later died on June 23.[24]
  • July 6: Another pro-Vietnam protest took place in Hong Kong.[25]
  • July 16: It was reported by the Xinhua News Agency that China National Petroleum Corporation was moving the disputed Haiyang Shiyou 981 oil rig towards China's Hainan island.[26]

Binh Duong-Dong Nai riots[edit]

Bình Dương and Đồng Nai provinces are highly industrialized, both have a dense concentration of foreign-invested industrial parks. Anti-China demonstrations here quickly developed into a full scale worker riot, where factories were looted, smashed or burnt. Swarms of rioters on motorbikes mistakenly targeting South Korean, Taiwanese, Hong Kong, Japanese and Singaporean businesses as Chinese and vandalized them.

Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Mill riot[edit]

The Formosa Ha Tinh Steel company and associated port facilities in Vung Ang, Hà Tĩnh Province in central Vietnam, 250 kilometers (155 miles) south of Hanoi, is operated by the Taiwanese conglomerate Formosa Plastics Group, one of the largest foreign investors in Vietnam. The complex employs more than 2,600 foreign workers, among them more than 1,500 are Chinese nationals. Friction arose between locals and foreign workers and clashes broke out sporadically.[27] In 2013, a Taiwanese accountant were stabbed to death in one such clash.[28]

On May 11, a 1,000 strong group of workers and locals formed an anti-China parade that turned into riot. The mob stormed the steel mill, lit fires at the furnace and several buildings and hunted down the Chinese workers. At least one Chinese worker was killed and 90 are injured.[29]


Initially, Hanoi lauded the "patriotic" displays by its citizens, but reversed after the violence turned badly citing the country's image being stained as a safe destination for sorely needed foreign investment. After hundreds of people have been arrested in the following crackdown the Vietnamese prime minister, Nguyễn Tấn Dũng stated The Vietnamese government has … contained the acts of law infringement and [will] strictly punish violators in accordance with the law. As a result, the situation has become totally stable. The enterprises' business and production have come back to normal, he added.[30]

After the sentenced of two men to prison the Chinese government called for further investigation, strict punishment and compensation. The Vietnamese government said it would assist riot-hit companies with tax breaks, rent waivers and lines of credit.[22]

  •  Taiwan issued a condemnation of the protests by the Vietnamese and denounced them for attacking Taiwanese property.[31]


On May 21, the Chinese foreign ministry confirmed that four people were killed and more than 100 others injured in the violence a week before.[32][30]

Hà Tĩnh[edit]

On May 15, Reuters reported that More than 20 dead as anti-China riots spread in Vietnam. According to the report, about 100 people were injured and sent to the hospital due to the violence in the night of 14th. A doctor in central Hà Tĩnh Province said that five Vietnamese workers and 16 other people described as Chinese were killed on Wednesday night in rioting.[33]

Central News Agency (Republic of China) confirmed that clash between Chinese and Vietnamese workers and locals at the Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Mill had resulted in the death of Chinese worker.[34]

Bình Dương[edit]

On May 15, a dead body was found in a burnt down Taiwanese factory and confirmed as a Chinese member of staff.[34]


  1. ^ a b Kate Hodal, Jonathan Kaiman (15 May 2014). "At least 21 dead in Vietnam anti-China protests over oil rig". The Guardian.
  2. ^ "Anti-China protests continue in Vietnam, over 1,000 arrested". Kyodo News. - Article is behind a paywall.
  3. ^ "Vietnam-China tensions: One dead in Taiwan mill protest". www.bbc.com. 2014-05-15.
  4. ^ "Factories Torched in Anti-China Protest in Vietnam". abcnews.go.com. Archived from the original on 2014-05-16.
  5. ^ "Anti-Chinese Violence Convulses Vietnam, Pitting Laborers Against Laborers". The New York Times. 2014-05-15.
  6. ^ "Factories burned in anti-China protest in Vietnam". Washington Post. 2014-05-14.
  7. ^ "Protestors torch factories in southern Vietnam as China protests escalate". CNN. 2014-05-15.
  8. ^ "Vietnamese protesters target Chinese embassy". CNN. 2014-05-12.
  9. ^ "Vietnam anti-China protest: Factories burnt". BBC. 2014-05-14.
  10. ^ "Behind Vietnam's Anti-China Riots, a Tinderbox of Wider Grievances". Wall Street Journal. 2014-06-17. - Article is behind a paywall.
  11. ^ "Just 14 factories targeted in Vietnam's anti-China protests belonged to mainland Chinese". South China Morning Post. 2014-05-20.
  12. ^ "Vietnam's PM calls for end to anti-China protests". The Washington Post. 2014-05-17. Archived from the original on 2014-05-18.
  13. ^ "Hơn 1.000 người bị bắt trong cuộc biểu tình quá khích". VnExpress. 2014-05-20.
  14. ^ "Nhiều kẻ kích động công nhân trong cuộc biểu tình phản đối Trung Quốc". VnExpress. 2014-05-14.
  15. ^ "Hàng nghìn người xô xát ở khu kinh tế Vũng Áng". VnExpress. 2014-05-15.
  16. ^ "Vietnam-China tensions: One dead in Taiwan mill protest". BBC. 2014-05-15.
  17. ^ "Công nhân dàn hàng bảo vệ nhà máy khỏi bị kích động phá hoại". VnExpress. 2014-05-14.
  18. ^ "Filipinos, Vietnamese join anti-China street protest". The Straits Times. 2014-05-16.
  19. ^ "Vietnamese woman dies in self-immolation protest against China". World news. theguardian.com. 2014-05-23.
  20. ^ "Vietnamese stage small anti-China protest in Hong Kong", Adam Rose, UK Reuters, 2014-05-25
  21. ^ "A Vietnamese demonstration in Malmö 2014". Sweden: Jabir Al Fatah. 2014. Event occurs at 2:12. Retrieved 2014-06-03.
  22. ^ a b "Vietnam jails two over anti-China riots", ABC.net.au, May 26, 2014
  23. ^ "Video shows Vietnam fishing boat sink after collision with Chinese vessel", Reuters, June 5, 2014
  24. ^ "Unidentified Florida man attempts botched suicide-protest of Chinese rig", Thanh Nien News, June 23, 2014.
  25. ^ "Pro-Vietnam protesters march in army attire against China's 'arrogant' territorial claims", South China Morning Post, 7 July 2014.
  26. ^ "China moves Vietnam row oil rig", Nga Pham, BBC News, July 16, 2014.
  27. ^ "Tuổi Trẻ Online - Việc làm Online". Archived from the original on 2013-10-25. Retrieved 2014-05-28.
  28. ^ "Ra ngõ gặp… người Trung Quốc! - Kinh doanh - Dân trí".
  29. ^ "Riots in Vietnam leave 1 Chinese dead, 90 injured".
  30. ^ a b "Vietnam detains hundreds after riots targeting Chinese businesses" The Guardian, May 22, 2014
  31. ^ "Taiwan condemns violent protest in Vietnam" Archived 2014-05-15 at the Wayback Machine
  32. ^ "Chinese firm says Vietnam riot killed four employees" South China Morning Post, May 21, 2014
  33. ^ "Up to 21 dead, doctor says, as anti-China riots spread in Vietnam". Reuters. 2014-05-15.
  34. ^ a b 越南反華暴動 台廠2陸幹死亡 (in Chinese). 中央社. 2014-05-15. Retrieved 2014-05-15.