Vietnam parliament to monitor lease of forest land in border areas

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The National Assembly will start supervising the lease of national defense-related forests by border provinces to foreign companies from Sunday, local newswire Vietnamnet quoted an official as saying on Thursday.

Le Quang Binh, head of the National Assembly's National Defense and Security Standing Committee, said they would propose solutions, if it was confirmed that ten provinces had let foreign businesses lease protected forests in border areas for long terms, undermining national security.

Binh made the statement in response to recent expressions of public concern that several provinces like Nghe An and Lang Son had rented out borderland forests.

The supervision was part of the committee's regular inspection of sensitive localities in terms of balancing the interests of socio-economic development and national defense, he told the newswire.

Binh said the committee's inspection would be launched first in the central highlands and southeastern regions, and then the northern provinces in July.

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