Provincial government pulls plug on controversial Hai Van Pass project

By Bui Ngoc Long, Thanh Nien News

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A view of Hai Van Pass. Photo: Mai Thanh Hai

The government of Thua Thien-Hue Province put an end to a controversial resort project backed by a Chinese developer.
Nguyen Que, deputy head of Chan May-Lang Co Economic Zone’s management board, told Thanh Nien that they signed an agreement on Wednesday with the The Dieu Joint Stock Company, the Chinese investor in the World Shine resort complex, to stop the project at the request of the provincial People’s Committee. 
The provincial government said the decision was made following public outcry over the project's planned location. 
The resort complex was licensed in October of 2013. 
At that time, the Thua Thien-Hue government gave the Chinese company 200 hectares (494 acres) of land on Cua Khem Cape, which lies just north of the central city of Danang, near the southern entrance to the Hai Van Pass. 
The company is a subsidiary of the British Virgin Islands-based World Shine Hong Kong Limited Company. Its director, Lu Wang Sheng, is a Chinese national.
If built, the complex will feature a five-star hotel with 450 rooms, a luxury apartment building with 220 units, 350 villas and a 2,000-seat international convention center. 
The project's total cost was estimated to hit US$250 million and is slated for completion in 2023. 
After local media reported on the project, a number of defense experts publicly denounced it as a threat to national security due to the Hai Van Pass' great strategic significance. 
The project's detractors have called for a careful review from both the provincial government and the Ministry of Defense. 
The municipal government of Danang also argued that the project is located on a disputed spot claimed by both the city and Thua Thien-Hue Province. Danang called on authorities in the neighboring province to halt construction and Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung to pull the project's license. 
Thua Thien-Hue government said it was waiting for the PM’s instructions on the project, but ended up shutting the project down before he rendered a verdict.

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