The war of words continues, between Peking and Hanoi, over the question of Vietnam's treatment of resident Chinese Nationals.
The war of words continues, between Peking and Hanoi, over the question of Vietnam's treatment of resident Chinese Nationals. China launched a bitter attack last week, announcing a partial cancellation of it's aid programmes and rejected a Vietnamese call for talks on the problem. Vietnam has accused China of a premeditated campaign aimed at preventing reconstruction of postwar Vietnam and has countered a story of fleeing Chinese shown on Peking Television, questioning the source and interpretation of the allegations. They called for Peking to begin negotiations on the issue of chinese residents in Vietnam and other relations between the two countries. It is reported that between 80 and 100 thousand Chinese residents have left Vietnam and crossed the border into the southern Chinese provinces of Kwangsi and Unnan.
SYNOPSIS: The Chinese quarter of Hanoi, Hoan Kiem, is still bustling with activity. chinese restaurants do a regular business and are said to be full of Vietnamese customers every night. As in many Asian cities, the Chinese community are active and successful small private businessmen. A relocation program directing Chinese to move from Ho Chi Minh City to the countryside has met with resistance from the 1.2 million Chinese.
In response to the resistance, Hanoi recently decided "to abolish private business". It is reported that the Chinese Nationals continued to uphold their traditional strong control of commerce. On March the 24th police and troops cordoned off Chinese districts to force nationalization of businesses and the mass exodus began. Vietnamese reports say that only 20 to 50 Chinese are leaving, by train from Hanoi to the Chinese border each day.
Vietnam has denied all claims that their troops were shooting at Chinese trying to flee across the frontier to China. A lengthy statement on the Voice of Vietnam said that feeing Chinese having crossed the border to China should remain in Vietnam and continue their normal lives. But the exodus continues.