Violence against Chinese-owned factories in Vietnam has spread to mayhem at factories run by South Korean, Taiwan and Singapore companies as well. It’s as though Vietnamese were protesting not only the heavy-handed construction by China of an oil rig within Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone in the South China Sea but also giving voice to a long litany of complaints against all those whom the Vietnamese see as exploiting them.
Vietnamese nationalism is a dominant factor. The Vietnamese people patriotically resent China’s claims to the entire South China Sea. They see China’s policy as a continuation of Chinese domination going back many centuries, almost into pre-history, when Chinese warlords controlled much of what is now northern Vietnam. The historic influence of China is evident in appearance, linguistic characteristics, religion and culture. Yet the Vietnamese have remained fiercely independent, and Vietnamese forces repelled the Chinese in vicious fighting in 1979.
Read more: http://www.forbes.com/sites/donaldkirk/2014/05/17/vietnamese-anti-china-protests-reflect-grievances-far-beyond-chinas-oil-rig/