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Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

  • Reasey Poch
  • VOA Khmer

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam.

The shelves in this Vietnamese store, like most stores around the country, are filled with Chinese-made products; but, much of it may go unsold, for now, with many Vietnamese consumers still angry over the recent oil rig dispute.

Like she does every year, Phu Lang Huong is taking her children to purchase school supplies. This time, she says, she will only purchase Vietnamese products.

“China has already withdrawn its oil rig, but my initial thought is, we are Vietnamese. We have to buy Vietnamese," said Huong.

'Vietnamese People Give Priority to Vietnamese Goods' is part of an ongoing nationwide campaign to promote nationalism.

In May, China placed the drilling platform in disputed waters near the Paracel islands. The location for the oil exploration led to clashes between Chinese ships and Vietnamese fishing boats.

Mai Mai, a college student in Hanoi, says she still uses products made in China, but won't buy new ones.

“After this incident, there are so many slogans on the Internet such as 'stop using Chinese goods.' So many people did try to put their Chinese things away," said Mai.

China was Vietnam's largest trade partner in 2013, with bilateral trade worth $50.21 billion, according to the government in Hanoi.

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