Updated May. 16, 2014 07:41
Some Korean companies were damaged by the anti-Chinese protests in Vietnam, which are against Chinas moving its oil rig to the South China Sea. Korean national flags, however, turned out to have helped preventing additional damage.
According to the Korean Consulate in Ho Chi Min and the trade office of KOTRA in Ho Chi Min on Thursday, Korean companies, which put up Korean national flags to prevent them from being mistaken as Chinese companies, had no or little damage.
As some 80 Korean companies were affected by the anti-Chinese protests that began on Tuesday, the Korean Consulate sent guidelines that the companies should raise both Korean and Vietnamese flags and have local staff respond to the protesters if they break in. It also guided the companies to remove signs in Chinese characters and put up Vietnamese-friendly placards. Since the use of Korean national flags by many companies, damage has significantly decreased. However, as companies report their damage belatedly, the number of damaged Korean companies is gradually growing.
Some analysts say that the national flag effect may be based on the positive image of Korea, which rose from the ashes of war to achieve an economic growth along with the popularity of Korean culture. Park Min-woo, Korean consul in Vietnam, said, Several actions taken to prevent conflicts with the protesters such as using Korean national flags seem to have worked.