Beijing calls on Hanoi to remove Taiwanese flags from Vietnam

Taiwanese companies in Vietnam show their flag to protect themselves against protests by Vietnamese. Firms fear actions against Chinese firms. Beijing presses Hanoi to remove Taiwanese flags.

Hanoi (AsiaNews/Agencies) – China’s campaign to limit Taiwan's presence in the international community continues.

After convincing dozens of airlines to cancel the name "Taiwan" as a destination, Beijing is lobbying Vietnam to stop Taiwanese companies from flying their flag at their business locations in Vietnam.

This comes after a Taiwanese furniture manufacturer in Vietnam began flying the Taiwanese flag at its factory gates to protect itself from anti-China protests.

For several weeks, many Vietnamese have been protesting the government's decision to lease special economic zones to Chinese companies. Employees of Taiwanese companies went on strike and protested against the decision.

Lo Tzu-wen, the president of manufacturer Kaiser 1 Furniture, was quoted in the media that the Vietnamese government had authorised Taiwanese firms to fly their flag to distinguish themselves from Chinese companies.

In 2014, the company suffered major economic losses following protests against China after Beijing deployed an oil rig in a disputed area in the South China Sea.

Twenty people were killed in the violence that followed and one hundred were wounded.

Vietnamese authorities granted tax breaks to Taiwanese firms as compensation, noting that Vietnamese could not tell the difference between Chinese and Taiwanese firms.

However, for China’s foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang, on monday July 30th: “There is only one China in the world, and Taiwan is part of China”.

Noting that Beijing resolutely opposed any form of Taiwan separatism, he added: “We have taken up the matter with the Vietnamese side, and they have already instructed the relevant companies to correct their wrong practices”.