Vietnam rejects 'baseless' information on citizens undermining Cambodian sovereignty

By Viet Anh   December 5, 2019 | 05:30 am PT
Vietnam rejects 'baseless' information on citizens undermining Cambodian sovereignty
Floating houses of ethnic Vietnamese on the Tonle Sap River in Cambodia, May 26, 2019. Photo by Reuters/Rina Chandran.
Vietnam has denied reports that some Vietnamese citizens have bought land in Cambodia, undermining its security and sovereignty.

"I believe it is completely baseless," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang said at a press meeting Thursday.

She was responding to an inquiry about Vietnamese nationals leaving Cambodia’s Tonle Sap, the only place they have been allowed to stay since migrating during the Vietnam War and before that, and buying land plots elsewhere.

Vietnam understands Cambodia’s intention to pursue sustainable socio-economic development in general and its need to relocate people living on Tonle Sap in particular, said Hang.

"Vietnam’s representative offices in Cambodia keep close track of the relocation (of people in Tonle Sap) and (stand ready) to provide timely support measures for Vietnamese nationals who are relocated, while calling on them to abide by Cambodian law," she said.

Since last year, authorities of Cambodia’s Kampong Chhnang Province have relocated many floating villages from Tonle Sap where Vietnamese nationals lived.

Earlier this year, the authorities said they have delayed the relocation of another 750 Vietnamese families in Tonle Sap until July. But before that, over 3,000 families had already voluntarily relocated to settlements on higher grounds.

Ethnic Vietnamese are the largest minority group in Cambodia, comprising nearly 50,000 families, or more than 180,000 people, according to data from the Cambodian government, Reuters reported.

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