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Vietnam's Da Nang cancels Chinese land projects in interest of national defense

Friday, December 18, 2015, 13:54 GMT+7

The administration of the central city of Da Nang has turned down the proposals of multiple Chinese-invested projects, as the suggested locations have been deemed sensitive to national defense.

Among these, most noteworthy is one to establish a clean vegetable growing area in Hoa Vang District, according to a decision signed on Thursday by the city’s chairman Huynh Duc Tho.

In March 2013, authorities licensed a group of three Vietnamese investors to use a 261,000 square meter land plot to grow vegetables to supply to several Chinese-run hotels in Ngu Hanh Son District.

But the Command of Military Zone 5, which protects seven provinces in central Vietnam, has asked the city’s administration to revoke the license as the area is sensitive to national defense.

The land plot is located near a field used for military exercises and may affect the army’s withdrawal tactics, according to the command.

Even though permission was given to the three Vietnamese, the vegetable-growing project was in fact managed and tended to by Chinese nationals, according to Nguoi Lao Dong (Laborer) newspaper.

The project was meant to supply vegetables to hotels and resorts operated by Silver Shores Co. Ltd., a Ngu Hanh Son-headquartered firm with a Chinese director.

In December last year, the Da Nang administration suspended another Silver Shores-developed project for similar reasons.

The canceled project was the construction of a wharf complex for cruise boats and air-based recreational activities on the iconic Han River, which the Command of Military Zone 5 said may affect the city’s air defense capability.

Silver Shores Co. has also been requested to lower the height of a dormitory built in Ngu Hanh Son to lodge its employees, as it poses a threat to the city’s anti-aircraft fields.

An increasing number of Chinese nationals have flocked to Da Nang, some of whom have been assisted by locals to defy laws in order to own property there.

Authorities reported earlier this month that they had discovered 71 local residents buying a total of 137 plots of land in the area on behalf of the Chinese.

The Da Nang administration subsequently tightened immigration control after having expelled 64 illegal laborers, who worked without a permit on tourist visas, back to China in the middle of this month.

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