Vietnam denies Chinese caravan entry on safety grounds

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Chinese tourists in Da Nang. Photo: Nguyen Tu Chinese tourists in Da Nang. Photo: Nguyen Tu

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The Ministry of Transport has rejected a request by a Chinese city seeking entry for a caravan of 1,000 tourist cars, saying the short notice proposal left Vietnam ill-prepared to ensure their safety.
On December 1, the Pingxiang City administration in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in southern China filed the request to the Transport Ministry’s International Cooperation Department. Under the plan, the caravan was scheduled to bring around 1,500 tourists to Vietnam on the occasion of an annual trade fair between Pingxiang and the northern province of Lang Son.
The caravan was scheduled to call on tourist destinations in Vietnam such as Ha Long, Da Nang, and Ho Chi Minh City, and stop over in Laos and Cambodia from December 11 to March 2015.
In a statement issued Monday, the Ministry of Transport refused the Chinese caravan entry, citing "inadequate conditions to ensure safety and security for the caravan".
Nguyen Hong Truong, deputy transport minister, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that his ministry had consulted agencies concerned and the Lang Son provincial administration before rejecting the Chinese request.
Those agencies all concurred that the Pingxiang City government had filed the request on very short notice, leaving the Vietnamese side little time to host the caravan, Truong said.
Earlier on Monday, the Ministry of Defense also advised that the Ministry of Transport turn down the request.
Nguyen Xuan Thuy, deputy defense minister, told news website VnExpress that his agency would object to hosting such a caravan, given its large number of vehicles.
 

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