China recently withdrew an oil rig from a disputed area in the South China Sea. Vietnam claims the same area. For Vietnamese, the waterway is known as the East Sea.
China’s deployment of the oil rig worsened ties between the two sides. The dispute has had a lasting effect on people in Vietnam.
Like many Vietnamese stores, this one is filled with products made in China. But a lot of these goods may not sell. Many Vietnamese are still angry about the oil rig dispute.
Every year, Phu Lang Huong buys school supplies for her children. This time, she says, she will buy only Vietnamese products.
She says China has withdrawn its machinery from the disputed waters. But she says her first thought is that the Vietnamese people must buy products from Vietnam.
One advertising campaign is designed to increase feelings of nationalism or loyalty to the country. Part of the campaign uses the saying, “Vietnamese People Give Priority to Vietnamese Goods."
In May, China set up the drilling platform in disputed waters near the Paracel islands. The action led to clashes between Chinese ships and Vietnamese fishing boats.
Mai Mai is a college student in Hanoi. She says she still uses products made in China.
“After this incident, there are so many slogans in the Internet, like ‘stop using Chinese goods’ or something like this. So many Vietnamese people they try to put their Chinese things away.”
But she also says she will not buy new ones.
China was Vietnam’s largest trade partner last year. Vietnamese officials say the trade was worth more than $50 billion.
I’m Jeri Watson.
This report was written in Special English from a story by Reasey Poch in Hanoi.
Words in the News
withdraw – v., to take or move out, away or back; to remove
deployment – n., the moving of forces or weapons into place for action
machinery - n., devices with moving parts used to do work
nationalism -n., a feeling of loyalty and pride in one’s country, often with the belief that it is better and more important than other countries
priority – n., something that is more important than other things and that needs to be done or dealt with
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