Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Chinese reluctant to return

Chinese reluctant to return

Chinese people walk across the Cambodia-Vietnam border at Bavet city in Svay Rieng province on Friday to escape anti-China protests and violence
Chinese people walk across the Cambodia-Vietnam border at Bavet city in Svay Rieng province on Friday to escape anti-China protests and violence. AFP

Chinese reluctant to return

The vast majority of Chinese nationals who have fled to Cambodia from Vietnam since riots broke out in that country early last week are sticking it out here until it is safe to return, a Chinese Embassy official said yesterday, with immigration police estimating that at least 1,600 ethnic Chinese have now crossed the border.

About 100 people fleeing the anti-China protests have returned to their home country on flights from Cambodia, Yang Qing Lian, head of the consular section at the embassy, said, though he added that figure was a rough estimate.

“Right now, I’ve got the information that some Chinese nationals, not too many, have returned to China already . . . but most Chinese people are staying in Cambodia to wait until the situation gets better in Vietnam. So most Chinese people will go back [to Vietnam],” he said.

Only 300 of those who fled to Cambodia have been in contact with the embassy, he continued, making it difficult for officials to keep track of the total group, most of whom are believed to be staying in Phnom Penh.

Mam Yoy, deputy immigration police chief at the Bavet border checkpoint in Svay Rieng, said that more than 1,600 ethnic Chinese have crossed into Cambodia from Vietnam since Tuesday. Most are mainland Chinese, but about 100 are Taiwanese nationals, he said.

“But today, there were only about 30 Chinese coming across, so the situation has returned to normal,” Yoy said yesterday.

The government has welcomed the temporary guests, mostly businessmen worried for their safety, who began crossing the border after factories in Vietnam that rioters believed to be Chinese-owned were attacked last week.

The riots were sparked by China’s decision to move an oil rig into an area of the South China Sea that both nations claim sovereignty over.

On Friday, the Chinese Embassy sent a letter to Cambodia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, asking the government to ensure the safety of those fleeing Vietnam.

According to Chinese state news agency Xinhua, more than 3,000 Chinese citizens had been evacuated from Vietnam as of Saturday. Two Chinese have been killed and more than 100 have been injured as a result of the protests, it reported.

MOST VIEWED

  • Negotiations on EBA being held

    In an effort to defuse tensions, a senior government official said Cambodia is negotiating with the European Union (EU) on the Everything But Arms (EBA) trade deal, which allows the Kingdom to export goods to the 28-member bloc tariff-free. The EU notified Cambodia on October 5

  • Ministers to tackle sea pollutants

    Preah Sihanouk provincial authorities and members of local communities have collected 77 tonnes of water hyacinth at a Sihanoukville beach, Preah Sihanouk Provincial Hall spokesperson Or Saroeun said. He told The Post yesterday that the aquatic weeds had been floating along some of the province’s

  • Chinese police escort deported scam suspects

    Ninety-one Chinese nationals accused of extorting money from victims in a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) scam were deported from Phnom Penh International Airport on Monday under the escort of 182 Chinese police personnel. General Department of Immigration head of investigations Ouk Hay Seila told reporters

  • Sam Rainsy, government group set to clash at IPU Geneva meet?

    Opposition figure Sam Rainsy has been invited to speak at the General Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in Geneva, according to a former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) lawmaker. A government delegation is also set to attend the meeting, a National Assembly press release