Chinese access land use rights near Da Nang military airbase

By Nguyen Dong   September 19, 2019 | 10:44 pm PT
Chinese access land use rights near Da Nang military airbase
A land lot near Nuoc Man military airbase in Da Nang has been developed into a tourism complex by a Chinese company. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Dong.
Authorities have found 21 instances of Chinese nationals securing land use rights near the Nuoc Man Airbase in Da Nang.

At a meeting with the city's National Assembly delegates on Thursday, Da Nang voters expressed concern over Chinese entities' acquisition of seaside land in Da Nang and requested that authorities take actions to resolve this issue.

To Van Hung, director of the municipal Department of Natural Resources and Environment, said the city has reviewed its project areas and identified 21 cases of Chinese nationals having land use rights near the Nuoc Man Airbase in Ngu Hanh Son District.

"These 21 cases have happened because the land use rights certificates for these plots were previously granted to Vietnamese nationals. However, during the subsequent land exploitation and use process, Chinese nationals used several methods including buying shares and contributing capital to have land use rights transferred to them," Hung explained.

The stretch of land along Nuoc Man Airbase has one side facing the sea on Vo Nguyen Giap Boulevard, which includes 246 plots. Hung asserted that the granting of land use rights certificates for these plots were all done in accordance with the law, and that "determining whether there are signs of Chinese nationals being behind the scenes is the investigative agencies' job."

This is the first time Da Nang authorities have publicized the number of land plots near Nuoc Man Airbase that Chinese nationals have land use rights over. Currently, a number of restaurants and agarwood shops have sprouted up in this stretch of land, but most of it remains empty.

According to Hung, of the 21 plots with Chinese elements, one is under the name of the Chinese-owned Silver Shores Investment and Development Co. Ltd., which is implementing the Silver Hoang Dat special international tourism and entertainment project.

The remaining 20 cases are projects to build mansions along Nuoc Man Airbase's fence that the city had given to domestic entities. The Vietnamese nationals receiving the land use right certificates then transferred those to companies 49 percent owned by Chinese investors. As these companies still operate as domestic firms, the transfers are legal.

On each of these plots' land use rights certificates, the front side still has a Vietnamese national as the land use rights' owner while the companies with Chinese capital contributions are only listed in the transfer note section.

"No Chinese individual's name is mentioned on the land use rights certificates," Hung noted.

Nguyen Thi Anh Thi, chairwoman of Ngu Hanh Son District, said that in addition to the granting of land use rights certificates, which falls under the jurisdiction of the Department of Natural Resources and Environment, these cases also involve the granting of permission to construct buildings and other structures, which is given by the Department of Construction.

"There has been no compromising of public security or political security so far," she said.

Thi also stressed that all licensed restaurants, eateries and massage parlours were "operating lawfully with no violation" and that local police still inspect them regularly.

The issue of Chinese nationals buying coastal lands near the Nuoc Man Airbase using Vietnamese proxies was first raised by Da Nang residents four years ago. At the time, the city's authorities had asserted that they still had control over the area and that there had been no defense and security issue.

Last June, the National Assembly passed a decree which tasks the government with looking into creating policies to strictly punish Vietnamese nationals who lend their names to help foreigners buy houses, transfer land use rights and rent land illegally.

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