Author Topic: Vietnam tries to contain anti-China protests as plan for new economic zones  (Read 1321 times)


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Vietnam tries to contain anti-China protests as plan for new economic zones sparks anger
Public anger mounts over a proposal to grant companies lengthy land leases, which some view as sweetheart deals for foreign and specifically Chinese firms

Published: 3:35pm, 10 Jun, 2018

Police in Vietnam detained more than a dozen protesters in the capital Hanoi on Sunday and halted demonstrations in other cities against plans for new special economic zones that the protesters fear would be dominated by Chinese investors.
Vietnam said in May last year it planned to open three special economic zones that offer investors greater incentives and fewer restrictions than available in the country at present.

The draft law does not identify potential foreign investors that can lease land for up to 99 years in the zones, but the protesters fear it will be dominated by neighbouring China.

The demonstrators carried anti-China banners, including one that said “No leasing land to China even for one day”, on a busy street near Hanoi’s Hoan Kiem Lake.

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The government said on Saturday that it had asked the National Assembly to delay a vote on the draft law to allow for more research on the legislation.

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The government has since cracked down on anti-China protests, but it remains publicly opposed to the nine-dash line and China’s presence in the Paracels and Spratlys.

Nguyen Chi Tuyen, a Hanoi-based dissident blogger with 42,500 Facebook followers, said he rarely saw such public interest in the National Assembly, a legislature that usually acts as a rubber stamp for the Communist Party’s Central Committee.
“This time they’ve got a lot of attention from the people, not just activists or dissidents but the normal people,” he said, adding that anti-China sentiment has fuelled anger.

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