Chinese using proxies to acquire land: public security ministry

By Dat Nguyen   June 4, 2019 | 09:37 am GMT+7
Chinese using proxies to acquire land: public security ministry
Aerial view of Da Nang land along the coast. Photo by Shutterstock/Tang Trung Kien.

An increasing number of Chinese companies and individuals are using Vietnamese proxies to acquire land illegally.

The Ministry of Public Security has reported to the National Assembly that Chinese nationals and entities are buying or renting land in premium locations along Vietnam’s coastline in the names of Vietnamese citizens.

The number of Chinese nationals coming to Vietnam for business, travel and education has increased greatly, leading to high demand for houses. They are marrying locals and bearing children without informing local authorities, the ministry's report said.

About 2.1 million Chinese tourists came to Vietnam in the first five months of the year, the biggest source of visitors, accounting for nearly 30 percent of the country's total arrivals, according to the General Statistics Office.

Mainland China topped the table for newly registered capital in Vietnam in the first five months, with $1.56 billion for 233 projects. In terms of registered capital, which includes newly-registered capital, capital supplements and stake acquisitions, China ranked fourth, after Hong Kong, South Korea and Singapore.

The ministry said it has advised the government to force ministries and local governments to improve their management over FDI projects and prevent foreign investors from illegally acquiring and transferring projects.

The report was submitted in the wake of lawmakers expressing concern at the ongoing National Assembly session about Vietnamese acquiring property in their names for foreigners in central coastal cities such as Da Nang.

Foreigners can buy apartments in Vietnam but are prohibited from buying land or individual houses.

Lawmakers have demanded that land acquired in such fashion is appropriated by the state. Deputy Prime Minister Trinh Dinh Dung said last week that the government will crackdown on locals acting as proxies for foreigners to buy land.

In 2015, the government widened foreigners' rights to buy housing in Vietnam under the amended Housing Law. But red tape remains a bottleneck to their exercising the right in full.

 
 
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