Vietnam Tries Damage Control After Deadly Anti-Chinese Riots

Riot police stand guard on a street outside a factory building in Bình Dương, Vietnam, on May 14 Photograph by VNExpress/AFP via Getty Images

Faced with deadly anti-Chinese pogroms throughout the country, the Vietnamese government has come up with a novel crisis-management tactic: sending a text message. Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung texted Vietnamese cellular subscribers yesterday and today, calling on citizens “to boost their patriotism to defend the fatherland’s sacred sovereignty with actions in line with the law.” Without referring directly to the rioters targeting people guilty of being Chinese (or at least appearing to be Chinese), the prime minister did remind Vietnamese that indiscriminate attacks on people based on ethnicity isn’t such a good idea. Patriotic Vietnamese shouldn’t allow “bad elements” to “harm the interests and images of the country,” he wrote.

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