Vietnamese Boycott Chinese Products

07 August, 2014

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She says China has withdrawn its machinery from the disputed waters.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 on the Internet, such as ‘stop using Chinese goods.' So many Vietnames people did 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 based on a story by Reasey Poch in Hanoi.