China appears unable or unwilling to control a huge exodus of illegal immigrants to Hong Kong, according to the British colony's Security Chief Lewis Davies.
AERIAL VIEW Illegal Chinese immigrants in Sampan off Hong Kong
AERIAL VIEW Royal Navy mine sweeper (No. P.1096) at sea
TV Navy speedboat putting out from mine sweeper
AERIAL VIEW Mine sweeper, with other illegal immigrants already taken aboard and seated on deck, approaching sampan
AERIAL VIEW Immigrants taken aboard 'sweeper from sampan (2 shots)
AERIAL VIEW Castle Peak observation post (situated in marsh area along Hong Kong/ Chinese border
LV PAN & CU British troops looking through binoculars from Castle Peak towards Chinese/ Hong Kong border (3 shots)
SV PAN Three illegal immigrants with hands tied taken to police post near Chinese border
LV & CU Male and female illegal immigrants loaded into separate trucks at the San U. K. Ling Detention Centre (5 shots)
TV Repatriation taking place at the Man Kam Bridge border point police truck cross into China
CAMERAMAN: GARY LING
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Background: China appears unable or unwilling to control a huge exodus of illegal immigrants to Hong Kong, according to the British colony's Security Chief Lewis Davies. He was speaking on Thursday (1 November) as figures were released which showed that October was the third worst month this year for illegal Chinese immigration. Almost eleven and a half thousands mainland chinese were rounded up by the Colony's security forces last month and sent back to China.
SYNOPSIS: The Chinese from the mainland come down the coast every day in makeshift boats put together with bits of straw and rope. many of the vessels don't survive the journey. But if they do there is a good chance the people on board will be among the more than three hundred picked up by the Royal Navy every day. The land border with China is heavily policed so most of the potential illegal immigrants have taken to the sea.
More than a quarter of a million illegal and legal immigrants are believed to have reached Hong Kong in the last eighteen months, placing an enormous strain on already overburdened housing, medical and social facilities.
Mr. Davies said the arrival of the mainland Chinese implied they were able now to set out from their villages without substantial efforts being made to prevent them coming to the already overcrowded island.
About forty Royal Marnies are stationed at the Castle Peak observation post to watch the border with China. According to a Hong Kong government spokesman Peking has been asked to stop the exodus of the illegal immigrants. And Prime Minister margaret Thatcher is expected to raise the issue with visiting Chinese Chairman Hua Guofeng during his visit to Britain. According to a report in the London based Daily Telegraph. Mrs. Thatcher is appalled by the latest Hong Kong illegal immigrant statistics.
All captured illegal immigrants were repatriated but Hong Kong officials are looking for strong controls and greater penalties on the other side of the border. Besides the illegal immigrants, another sixty thousand legal immigrants from China arrived this year on short???term permits and virtually all have stayed on. The total number of immigrants this year is more than three times the increase allowed for, in Hong Kong government planning. Officials are worried that if numbers continue to increase at this rate it will destroy the infrastructure of Hong Kong -- housing, education and every type of welfare.
The latest group of illegal immigrants are taken across the border at Man Kam Bridge. But according to recent reports many will try again to leave China and make a new life in Hong Kong.