HANOI, May 14 (Reuters) - Rioting broke out at industrial zones in southern Vietnam during protests by thousands of workers angered by Chinese oil drilling in a contested area of the South China Sea, officials said on Wednesday.
Workers smashed gates in the rioting on Tuesday and entered industrial parks housing factories in Binh Duong and Dong Nai provinces, which are central to Vietnam's sizable manufacturing interests.
The destruction comes amid high tensions between China and Vietnam, which have close trade and political ties despite a history of incursions and territorial battles that are the source of deep resentment among Vietnamese.
Vietnam's state-run newspapers and its television channels reported the rioting on Wednesday, but did not show photographs or any video footage.
"About 19,000 workers were demonstrating against China's violation of Vietnam's territorial waters," Tran Van Nam, vice chairman of Binh Duong people committee, told local reporters.
"Some workers turned angry, destroying companies' gates and entering the compounds and asking other workers to join a strike."
The Council of Taiwanese Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam said the riots on Tuesday had caused big losses to Taiwan firms, among them Formosa Plastics Group, which said its unit's facilities in Dong Nai were damaged by looters..
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