Hong Kong Returns Viet Refugees to China

Associated Press

More than 500 Vietnamese “boat people” who fled to Hong Kong from China last summer were sent back Wednesday aboard a ferry primarily used to carry casino gamblers.

The 508 refugees, including 145 children, were among the more than 7,000 Vietnamese who came from China in July and August after hearing rumors that they would be granted an amnesty to stay in the British colony or resettle in the West. Most of the Vietnamese already have been sent back across the land border with China’s southern Guangdong province, where they live on resettlement farms.

The ferry Lo Shan set sail for Beihai in Guangxi province, between Guangdong and Vietnam, and will make three more of the 40-hour trips this month to return another 1,400 refugees, a government spokeswoman said.