January 9, 2023
HÀ NỘI —Thousands of Chinese nationals in Việt Nam – mostly experts, businessmen and workers – have descended on the northern border gates with China on Sunday, hoping to get home as China starts reopening after years of the stringent zero-COVID policy.
Hundreds stood in line from the early morning hours at the Móng Cái International Border Gate in Quảng Ninh Province for long-awaited reunions during the Lunar New Year holiday and festival.
Móng Cái City has stopped the mandatory RT-PCR COVID-19 testing on people and goods passing through Bắc Luân II Bridge, Km3+4 road and Ka Long border gate connecting it with China, following the neighbouring country’s easing of travel curbs and border closures that have been in place since the start of the pandemic in early 2020.
Móng Cái City has made plans to welcome back Chinese tourists, reviewing all facilities and infrastructures at the border gate to make repairs if needed, cleaning up and disinfecting the guest reception zones, and preparing for the reopening of duty-free shops in the border gate.
Hoàng Bá Nam, secretary of the Móng Cái City Party Committee, said that the authorities of Móng Cái and the Dongxing (China) communicate regularly, exchanging information and agreeing on the timing of exit and entry between the two sides, and promoting import and export activities at border gates and markets.
The governments of the two cities mobilised the people of both sides to renew passports and visas to facilitate entry and exit and implement pandemic prevention and control based on ensuring safety for people and visitors.
At the Hữu Nghị (Friendship) International Border Gate in Lạng Sơn Province, at the exit area, all border guard, customs, and health quarantine units have increased the number of staff operating and are working at full capacity in assistance of the departing citizens.
The border gate management centre has also mobilised staff to distribute over 300 boxes of free water.
The authorities said about 600 Chinese citizens passed through the border gate in two hours out of the 3,000 present by 9am.
A Chinese national from Jiangxi Province said he was beyond glad to finally return to his family after three years, in time for the new year holiday.
Major Trần Văn Hùng, deputy head of the Border Guard at Hữu Nghị border gate, said that in the past days, on average, this border gate only received about 200 people on entry and exit.
According to Major Hùng, functional agencies have informed that people entering China need a certificate of negative COVID-19 test by PCR method within the past 48 hours, along with other paperwork as regulated. Most had prepared and met the requirements, so the exit procedures went smoothly.
At Tân Thanh Border Gate in Lạng Sơn, from early morning, about 250 vehicles were waiting to enter China to bring in exported goods, 70 per cent of which were fruit and agricultural products.
Tân Thanh Border Gate presently uses two methods of freight forwarding – contactless delivery method (cutting hooks and cranes for containers) and traditional delivery and receipt of goods as before (drivers and people travelling with vehicles across the border to warehouse yards in the opposite country to deliver and receive goods).
Tourism resumption celebrations also took place at Lào Cai–Hekou border area this morning after years of disruption.
From 7am today, the Lào Cai–Hekou International Land Border Gate officially opened to serve entry and exit activities to Hekou District, Yunnan Province (China) and Lào Cai Province, Việt Nam.
At the ceremony, the organising committee welcomed and gave flowers to 30 tourists and border residents from Hekou.
Deputy Head of the Management Board of Lào Cai Province’s Economic Zones Hà Đức Thuận said that this event is within the framework of the programme to restore entry and exit activities of border residents and tourists passing through international border gates after long hiatus.
The resumption of travel is expected to facilitate cross-border exchanges and tourism activities and create livelihoods for people on both sides of the border. — VNS