Mediation Process Continues between Taiwan and Vietnam
In the wake of destructive anti-China demonstrations and riots in Vietnam during the month of May, the Vietnamese government will engage in a second mediation session with the Chinese government in Taiwan. The session will be held in Vietnam within the next few days.
Taiwan issued a lengthy list of demands after the rioting caused an estimated $500 million in damages to Chinese-owned businesses, with extrapolated damages estimated to be as high as $1 billion. Of the twenty-four demands issued by Taiwan, the Vietnamese government has responded to ten. As part of an effort to calm relations, Vietnam has already sped up the issuance of work visas for Taiwanese companies, and legislated a tax reduction on Taiwan businesses importing equipment and raw materials as part of the rebuilding process.
The riots were spurred by a territorial dispute in the waters near Vietnam, claimed by both countries. The Chinese disregarded Vietnam’s claims and set up oil-drilling rigs in May. Crowds of people in the Vietnamese provinces of Ha Tinh, Binh Duong, Dong Nai and Ba Ria-Vung as well as in Ho Chi Minh City took to the streets in protest, targeting Chinese-owned businesses. Despite the damage, it’s currently estimated that over 90% of those businesses have resumed their operations.
China continues to operate its oil-drilling in the disputed area and has shown little or no interest in holding official negotiations over the disputed area. Vietnam has officially appealed to international mediation to help settle the issue.