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Report: Formosa Plastics to resume steel plant construction in Vietnam

TAIPEI -- Taiwan's Formosa Plastics Group is to resume construction of a steel plant in northern Vietnam in late July ten weeks after work was suspended amid xenophobic riots, according to a Taiwanese newspaper report on Wednesday. 

     Vietnamese protestors attacked properties of companies from Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan after taking to the streets in May to protest China's installation of an oil rig in the disputed South China Sea.

     There were disturbances at the Formosa Plastics plant in Ha Tinh Province on May 14 when Vietnamese workers attacked Chinese laborers working for China Metallurgical Group, the construction contractor. Ships were sent to retrieve some 3,600 workers from the construction site, and 16 rioters were arrested.

     The Taiwanese company, one of Vietnam's largest foreign investors, estimated it sustained $3 million in damage at the Formosa Ha Tinh plant in the Vung Ang Economic Zone.  

     The Taiwan business daily Commercial Times on Wednesday reported Formosa Plastics will be able to resume construction in late July after Hanoi authorities promised to station some 300 police officers and soldiers at the plant. The group still plans to commence steel production in 2015 as originally planned. 

     The newspaper report was based on an interview with Hong Fu-yuan, a senior executive at Formosa Plastics responsible for the Taiwanese group's Vietnam operations. Formosa Plastics declined to comment. 

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