An international press conference was held in Hanoi on May 17 to inform foreign reporters about bad individuals’ extremist actions that affected social order and safety in several localities in the country.

Taking the advantage of public meetings to oppose China’s illegal placement of its Haiyang Shiyou 981 drilling rig in Vietnam’s continental shelf and exclusive economic zone, several opportunists in the southern provinces of Dong Nai, Binh Duong and the central province of Ha Tinh destroyed property of foreign-invested enterprises, harmed safety of foreigners and resisted on-duty officials.

Dang Minh Khoi, Assistant to the Foreign Minister and head of the Northeast Asia Department under the Foreign Ministry, said right after learning about the incidents, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung immediately chaired several meetings with concerned Ministries and localities on how to promptly fix the situation.

PM Dung also issued four directions asking ministries and localities to take specific and drastic measures, he stressed, citing the latest one dated May 17 that asked for intensified measures to resolutely safeguard social order and safety.

Khoi reported that Vietnamese local and ministry authorities visited the affected foreign firms and their staff to discuss ways to surmount the consequences.

Meanwhile, hundreds of law violators were detained for further investigations to figure out the masterminds, he said, adding that adequate punishments will be given in accordance with law.

Khoi further said that Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh held telephone talks with his Chinese and Singaporean counterparts, while the Public Security ministers of Vietnam and China also talked on the phone, regarding the issue.

He also underscored that the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry has maintained regular contacts with foreign agencies in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to promptly handle the protection of foreign citizens in Vietnam as well as their legitimate rights.

The drastic and proactive participation of the Vietnamese Government, ministries and localities put the situation in these localities under control while almost all the affected firms have resumed their normal operations, he noted.

Khoi also underscored the Vietnamese Government and people’s stance of resolutely protecting the country’s sovereignty and legitimate rights, demanding that China immediately withdraw its Haiyang Shiyou-981 out of Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone and continental shelf.

Vietnam will continue applying all effective measures to preserve security and absolute safety for foreign agencies, enterprises and people living, studying and visiting Vietnam, he said.

The Vietnamese Government does not allow subversive acts targeting foreign individuals and businesses and those behinds such acts will be strictly punished, he confirmed.

Such incidents will not happen again, Khoi stated, adding that proper support will be designed for the affected firms.

Lieutenant General Hoang Kong Tu, head of the Investigation Security Agency under the Ministry of Public Security, expressed the regret about the incidents, declaring that the aforementioned extremists broke law, generating serious impacts on the country’s investment climate.

The law-breakers will be punished in accordance with law, Tu stated.

The police quickly commenced legal proceedings against the suspects and conducted further investigations in order to bring them to court or trial as soon as possible.

He made it clear that the police have coordinated with relevant agencies, social organisations and unions to stabilise the situation.

The force is resolute to prevent similar incidents in the future and ensure absolute safety for foreign investors, experts, and workers, including those from China.

He reported that the agency is working hard to investigate whether workers received money to participate in destroying the assets, but no official information on the action has been found.

Regarding the issue, the local police commenced criminal proceedings against 300 people on charge of appropriating and destroying assets, causing public disorder, and taking actions against on-duty officials.

He reported that several foreigners in Vietnam were found to work without work permits and were sent to their homeland.

In reply to a Taiwanese reporter’s question related to measures to make foreign investors feel safe in Vietnam, Khoi expressed his belief that the Government and localities will put forth appropriate and necessary policies and measures for support the businesses affected by the incidents.

To regain foreign investors’ trust and ensure their safety, the Government required ministries, agencies and localities to work together closely to provide necessary assistance for businesses and investors, including those from Taiwan, helping them stablise their production soon.

Lieutenant General Tu confimed that two people lost their lives in the incidents due to their fights with the rioters, which were out of expectations.-VNA