Vietnam city deports 64 Chinese working on tourist visas

Authorities in Danang have expelled 64 illegal workers back to China, the first action taken in a bid to tighten control over the mass migration of Chinese nationals to a coastal district in the central Vietnamese city.

The deported Chinese had entered Danang on tourist visas and stayed to work without a permit, according to the immigration office under the Danang police department.

The police department has also recommended that the municipal administration levy a VND15 million (US$670) fine on each of the unlicensed workers.

These Chinese were brought to Danang on tourist visas to work at the construction site of the five-star JW Marriott Hotel project, according to the immigration office.

The project is contracted by China’s Sichuan Hua Shi Co. Ltd., and developed by Silver Shores Co. Ltd., which has a Chinese director.

Last month the contractor won approval to bring an additional 300 Chinese laborers to the project, raising concern among local experts and members of the public.

A number of Chinese nationals have recently flocked to Ngu Hanh Son, a coastal district that fronts the East Vietnam Sea.

Chinese visitors have accounted for 65,000 out of 129,000 international arrivals to Ngu Hanh Son in the year to date, with Silver Shores operating charter flights bringing passengers from some Chinese localities to the Vietnamese city on a weekly basis.

Such a mass entry has prompted the local administration to “strengthen control over residential issues,” Dao Tan Bang, secretary of the district’s Party Committee, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Sunday.

The deportation of the 64 illegal Chinese workers is therefore seen as the first action of local authorities in their bid to tighten immigration control.

The rising number of Chinese visitors has in fact caused myriad problems for Ngu Hanh Son District, Bang admitted.

As of the end of November, the district’s administration had handled 11 cases in which foreigners violated the rules on security and social order, highlighted by a US$20,000 Chinese-related fraud, according to the official.

Authorities have also discovered that 71 local residents had bought a total of 137 plots of land in the area on behalf of Chinese nationals, as Vietnam currently does not permit foreigners to make land use transfer transactions.

With foreigners only allowed to own apartments or houses for 50 years with a one-off term renewal, paying locals to do the job for them has emerged as a common trick to bypass such regulations.